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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

October 16, 2013

Tina Shaw Discusses Her Son’s Involvement with Charleston Stage as a Young Actor

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 11:02 am

Q: Were there any activities growing up that led to your son Luke’s passion for theatre and the arts?  How was he introduced to the stage?
A: Luke has always loved make believe and from the time he could dress himself, he has had a box full of costumes. When he was very small, he wore costumes more than he wore actual clothes!  He went to Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary which exposed him to many art forms and enabled him to perform but he was introduced to the stage by his older brother, Timothy. Luke grew up watching his big brother perform with Charleston Stage and he just naturally assumed as soon as he was old enough, he would do the same!

Q: What have been some of your favorite roles you’ve seen Luke perform on stage and why?
A: I’ve loved all of Luke’s roles, from Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol to Ralphie in A Christmas Story, but my absolute favorite was Michael Darling in Peter Pan. It was Luke’s first big role and it was amazing to watch him discover being a part of a mainstage show and how much he loved it. He says that was his favorite role too because he got to fly! He grew up a lot during that show simply because Charleston Stage sets the bar high for their kids and they always seem to meet the challenge.

I will never forget one of the performances of Peter Pan, a group of college students from, I think Canada was in the audience and they really loved the show. When the show was over, they stayed after to meet the actors and they were so excited about what they had just seen. All of the actors went outside the theatre and the students walked across the street and stood in front of the Huguenot church and sang the most beautiful song for the cast. It was such a special moment in time that I got to experience with Luke and afterwards, Luke said, ‘they must have really liked the show mom’. He was only 8 at the time but he knew that he had just witnessed something magical and that’s what live theatre is; a magical moment in time that you experience once.

Q: What do you look forward to each night when watching Luke perform?
A: I really just love seeing him on stage, doing what he loves. I love that he has a passion that he takes so seriously and gets so much enjoyment from it. He tells anyone that asks him what he likes to do, ‘I am an actor with Charleston Stage’.

Q: Please share your thoughts on Luke’s experience with working with Charleston Stage.  What do you think are the lessons Luke is learning from his experience that you feel he will take with him into adulthood?
A: There are so many lessons Luke is learning from his experience. I believe the main one is responsibility and commitment. He knows that he is part of something much bigger than him and he is vital to its success no matter what part he is playing. Because of that, he knows that he has to be on time to rehearsal, get his schoolwork done and just generally manage his time wisely. Rehearsing for a show is a huge commitment that sometimes requires him to miss fun events and that has helped him realize that sometimes you have to miss things when you have responsibilities but the end result is worth it.

Also, there is a level of expectation at Charleston Stage for their students and he does all he can to meet the expectations and as a result, he has a strong work ethic in other areas of his life. Another lesson he has learned is to just keep going if something goes wrong. With live theater, sometimes there are mistakes with props, costumes, lines, etc. He has learned to just make it work. He has learned teamwork in the most vital sense. He knows that he needs to do his part and he needs to help his fellow actors in any way he can so that the show can be successful.

Charleston Stage has been a vital part of my Luke’s life and he has learned valuable lessons that he can use his entire life but he also now has a love for live theatre that will stay with him.


Luke Shaw as the Paperboy in a dress rehearsal for "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure".

Featured Center: Luke Shaw as Michael Darling in Charleston Stage's "The Original Peter Pan".

Featured Right: Luke Shaw as Raphie in Charleston Stage's "A Christmas Story".

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