Student Spotlight

Kieran Shaw

Shaw as Kinesias in our Spring 2014 production of Lysistrata

Shaw as Kinesias in our Spring 2014 production of Lysistrata

Our students never stop growing! Kieran Shaw ’15 started his career on Klein as an Orderly in Harvey
and went straight into his next role as Gonzalo in The Tempest. Now, Kieran is gearing up for his
biggest role yet in this Spring’s Lysistrata as Kinesias! Over the past year and over three comedies,
Kieran has really flexed his funny bone in Klein!

The Department of Theatre and Dance sat down with Kieran to ask him a few questions.

T&D: What is your major?

Kieran: Theatre.

T&D: What’s your hometown?

Kieran: Front Royal, Virginia.

T&D: What’s your main focus in theatre?

Kieran: Acting.

T&D: How did you first get involved with theatre?

Kieran: As a senior in high school, I was cast in a one-act play, and that was my first theatrical role. Then, after that, I was cast as Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, and my interest took off from there.

T&D: What is your favorite show you’ve worked on at UMW?

Shaw as Gonzalo in our Spring 2013 production of The Tempest

Shaw as Gonzalo in our Spring 2013 production of The Tempest

Kieran: I’d probably say The Tempest. I really enjoyed the whole experience of that show, it was my first major role at UMW, and the chemistry the actors had with each other and the director, Marc, was really enjoyable to experience.

T&D: What are your plans after graduation?

Kieran: After graduation, right now, I’m hoping to hit the DC theatre scene hard, or even pursuing film opportunities. Just pursuing a career in acting in general.

T&D: What is your favorite word? Least favorite word?

Kieran: My favorite word is discombobulated, it’s very fun to say, and it’s sort of an apt descriptor of me. My least favorite word would be frothy. For various reasons.

T&D: What is your favorite kind of candy?

Kieran: I love Mike and Ikes. They’re delicious, what can you say?

T&D: If you could work on any play or musical, which one would it be?

Kieran: I would love to be in The Book Of Mormon. It’s such a great show, and I really identify with the character of Elder Cunningham. I just love that show a lot.

T&D: What’s a fact about you that most people wouldn’t expect?

Kieran: I’m an avid sports fan. I follow a lot of teams in several sports, and I have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of sports history. It’s just that it was such an important part of my adolescence, it’s something that’s still important to me.

T&D: Who would be some of your biggest professional influences?

Kieran: I really admire the work of Bryan Cranston. He’s so versatile in every role, he first really became famous as the dad from Malcolm in the Middle, which was a much more comedic role. Now he’s famous for Walter White in Breaking Bad, which was a very different role. I admire the fact that he can be talented in so many different ways.

T&D: What accomplishments or contributions would you like to be remembered for when you graduate?

Shaw, right, as an Orderly in our Spring 2014 production of Harvey

Shaw, right, as an Orderly in our Spring 2014 production of Harvey

Kieran: When I graduate, I just want to be remembered as someone that everyone enjoyed working with, that everyone enjoyed being around. I guess someone that people enjoyed having in their shows.

T&D: Do you have any interests outside of theatre?

Kieran: I mean, like I said before, I’m a big sports fan, I play a lot of video games, watch a lot of TV, you know, the usual stuff. I also have a podcast, and I try to be on that every week, although when I’m in a show, it’s tougher to find the time.

T&D: What can you tell us about the challenges of tackling such a classical comedy? The rewards?

Kieran: It’s really fun to sort of take this ancient comedy, the old style of language, and turn it into something that contemporary audiences can enjoy. I had the same thing with The Tempest in that I really enjoy having audiences understand classical language and laugh at it and appreciate it.

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