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Community Spotlight: Lindsay Shields

By Ginny Butsch posted 03-22-2016 09:17



One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. 

Our latest Spotlight Member is Lindsay Shields, troupe director of Troupe 7892 at Flushing High School in Flushing, New York. A Thespian Alum, Lindsay has stayed connected to her theatre roots and has been contributing to the Community since our beta-testing days. She is also a member of the Alumni Council and serves on the board for New York Thespians. 

Ginny: Why do you believe theatre is important? 

Lindsay: Theater heightens one's awareness of themselves and the world. It is a means of expression, reflection, and observation. Theater makers are a microcommunity where everyone has a place and purpose.

Ginny: What is the resource you most recommend to others in your profession? 


Ginny: Any tips for new theatre teachers? 

1. Make friends with everyone on your school's custodial staff. That way doors are truly always open for you. 2. Ask for help. You can't do everything by yourself. Students, parents, colleagues, and community members can help make your job easier. 3. Spend time with other theater teachers and attend PD with them, whether in person or as part of an online group. Often times arts teachers work in isolation, so it is very important to problem solve, swap curriculum, and brainstorm with like-subject colleagues.

Ginny: Tell us about the moment that made you decide to get involved in theatre. 

I fell in love with theater when I was five years old and learned what a play was from a friend whose mother was a drama teacher. I wrote and directed my first play when I was six, casting kids in my first grade class and rehearsing during recess. My friend, who played the male lead in that performance, auditioned for the last play I wrote as a high school student, twelve years later.

Ginny: Everyone has at least one good theatre story (a costume mishap, smoke alarms during performances, malfunctioning set pieces, etc.). Tell us yours! 

Our school is built on the property of an old arboretum that was bequeathed to the school district. It features a large green lawn with many unique trees. There is a population of squirrels that resides in the trees and chases invader squirrels from the property. The squirrels have often paid us visits during rehearsals. Once, a squirrel climbed down from the balcony and began sneaking down the aisle toward the stage. We ignored it, as we thought it would be scared away. It crept around the orchestra pit and began ascending the stairs to the stage. We had to chase it down the stairs three times! We also found a dead squirrel wrapped in the cables of our organ. One time, when we were cleaning out the vent to the old projection booth, a bony squirrel hand dropped from the slats!

Ginny: Name something on your bucket list. 

Getting a book published.

Ginny: If you could have a different career, what would you choose? 

Dramaturg or NASA ground control.

Ginny: How do you relax after a busy day? 

I go see a show or read a script!

Ginny: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of theatre? 

Canoeing, hiking, crocheting, writing.

Ginny: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

Anywhere in Southeast Asia. I feel at home in that part of the world, from the minute I step off the plane.

Her sense of humor and adventure, coupled with plenty of experience in professional and educational theatre, makes Lindsay an ideal leader. If you enjoyed Lindsay’s interview as much as I did, add her as a contact in the Community! 

Do you know someone who deserves a moment in the Spotlight? Tell me their name and why at Want to read more Community Spotlights? You can find them here.

Photos of students provided by Lindsay.