Lawton native not throwing away her shot
Lawton native Erin Clemons is currently starring as Eliza Hamilton on the Philip Tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit “Hamilton.”
The tour is currently performing in Oklahoma City at the Civic Center Music Hall through Sunday, Aug. 18.
I recently had a chance to talk with Clemons about her experiences growing up in Lawton, finding her love of theatre and performing in the biggest musical in recent history.
Q: Can you tell me a little about your time growing up in Lawton?
A: I was born in Lawton and lived there until I went to college in fall of 2007. I attended Carriage Hills Elementary and MacArthur Junior High and High School.
Q: Did you have much involvement with local theatre as a kid?
A: I was more involved in dance. I danced from the time I was 3 until I graduated high school. First, at Story and Barton under Amy and Beth Fields, now Rittenhouse and Stukey respectively, and then under Sherri Conwell at Sherri’s Dance Center. I auditioned for the “Sound of Music” at LCT in the fourth grade, but that was my only experience with community theatre in Lawton.
Q: So when did you discover your love of theatre?
A: I discovered my love of Music Theatre through Kelly Martin in MacArthur Junior High and High School Choir. We took a trip to New York City when I was 15 and we saw “Wicked” and “Hairspray” and I fell in love. I always knew I wanted to perform in some way, but that was the moment it clicked that music theatre would be my goal.
Q: What was your reaction when you were first cast in “Hamilton?”
A: I was first cast in the show in New York City, where I was understudying the three Schuyler Sisters before I joined the tour as Eliza. I was extremely excited and also a bit overwhelmed that’d I’d be learning that much material. I had loved the show for so long before getting cast so it felt like a dream to finally be in the building.