SL (Shannon Louise) Campbell, an actor, director, and performance artist, hails from Burlington, Ontario. Currently pursuing a degree in Dramaturgical Studies and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus (UTM), she is an alumna of Notre Dame High School (2020). Active in extracurriculars, her involvement spanned metalwork manufacturing and drama. SL collaborated closely with Theatre Burlington, featuring in two children’s shows (Rumplestiltskin, 2018; Hansel and Gretel, 2022) and contributing to various set designs. Throughout high school, she secured roles in four plays (Sherlock Holmes as Gashouse Gertie, 2017; Our Town as Howie Newsome, 2017; Nooses Off as Jackie, 2019; The Outsiders as Dallas Winston, postponed due to the pandemic, 2020). In her final year, SL directed and acted in the grade 12 production of The Literati Awards.
Passionate about exploring diverse theatre art, she actively supports local theatres and performers. SL holds a deep appreciation for Canadian theatre and aspires to work across numerous Toronto and Canadian stages. Additionally, she spent a decade as a girl guide, nurturing her love for camping and hiking. An adventurous cook, she finds fascination in the artistic and media creation processes. In her leisure time, SL engages in writing, video games, gardening, and seeking unique experiences. Driven by curiosity as both an artist and scholar, she consistently seeks avenues for learning and creativity.
SL Campbell has recently become part of the Crane Creations Theatre‘s prestigious Summer Ensemble 2023 as a Director. This unique program offers aspiring artists in the Canadian theatre industry unparalleled work experience. The Summer Ensemble specifically recruits talented individuals aged 18 to 30, providing them with intensive, full-time training over several weeks. Participants not only acquire valuable skills but also gain invaluable experience in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
SL Campbell is one of the three directors working with this year’s Summer Ensemble who will together be creating an exciting and dynamic collaborative environment who will together be creating an exciting and dynamic collaborative environment.
What Will SL Gain In This Arts Job?
Artistic Skills: Explore classical and contemporary text, improvisation, and theatre around the world and their relevance and impact on art jobs and society today.
Orientation in Arts Jobs: Honest insight into professional organizations, structures and systems in place and how to navigate them successfully
Financial Skills: Budgeting and financial literacy delivered in a comprehensible and easy to understand way, tailored for theatre artists’ needs.
Leadership: Debate complex questions and develop ideas and strategies on how to build not only your career but the theatre ecosystem in Canada and Internationally.
Touring in Arts: Discover how artists around the world use international touring as a source of income, and learn how to create shows that can allow you to participate in that market.
Digital Skills: Discover how blog/content writing can earn you additional income, and promote your work, while mastering WordPress, one of the most desired skills in today’s job market.
SL (Shannon Louise) Campbell graduated from Notre Dame Secondary School in 2020 and is now attending the University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus (UTM), doing a double major in Dramaturgical Studies and Cinema Studies. However she loves learning anything she can and seeks to take a wide array of subjects.
About SL. An Interview with SL.
Where Are You From Originally? What is your favourite thing about your home town?
I was born and raised in Burlington Ontario. Even as a kid, I loved to explore and learn. I did girl guides, i played softball, and I was heavily involved with school activities.
I love the parks and forested areas in Burlington. While there are many wonderful things to do, ultimately my favourite activity when I’m home is going for a walk. There are many amazing green spaces and the lakeshore has a great trail along it. No matter where you are in the city, there is always a great place nearby to take a step back and enjoy the world around you.
What is Your Favourite Food?
My number one favourite food is chicken wings from a restaurant in Burlington called Chaps. Sadly, they closed many moons ago. Nothing has compared since. I miss them every day.
Do You Have Any Hobbies?
I often pick up hobbies for a short span of time before finding something else that I then dedicate myself to – wood carving, sewing, welding – and this frequent jumping-between-things has resulted in me having an eclectic array of skills and the only somewhat founded confidence that I can learn to do anything if I set my mind to it. But more enduringly, I particularly enjoy playing video games, gardening, and cooking.
We Are a Company That Speaks Many Different Languages. What languages do you speak?
My first language is English, and I can speak some French and a small bit of Welsh. I’ve taken a year of Latin in university and while I definitely cannot speak it, I can read some.
What is a New Skill You Have Always Wanted to Learn?
I have always wanted to learn archery and secondarily, horseback archery. However, it is not necessarily the easiest skill to pick up, nor does it come up in everyday life all too often. There is very little reason, let alone use, for this. I do think that this would make me far cooler than I already am, and that is a noble aim. Also, that was always the best game on Wii Sports, and from what little archery I’ve done, I am sure that it is equally fun in reality.
What is one fun fact about yourself?
I took metal work manufacturing through high school and did a co-op in a machine shop one summer. In doing so I learned to operate a wide array of machinery and for a while I was certified in three types of welding.
Why is Theatre Important?
Theatre isn’t really comparable to film or most other arts. Although both communicate an idea through enactment, they do so in vastly different ways. Theatre is extremely communal and the response of the audience greatly impacts the performance as a whole, whereas a film is static; it will be the same regardless of circumstance. Theatre is also able to reflect and reflect on its social context rather easily because it is performed in the moment rather than capturing a moment in the past, so it can look at the smaller nuances and changes of its society without necessarily limiting itself to exist in a past time.
What is a Project You Were a Part of or Something That You Did Related to Theatre, That You Are Proud of?
During my final year of high school, I had the amazing chance to direct and perform in a public play for our drama class’s final project. The play, titled the Literati Awards, was a humorous one-act where literary characters debated and grumbled about attending an awards ceremony to determine the best character of all time. It was my first experience with considerable creative freedom, and I thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with my classmates. Our performance garnered laughter and enthusiastic reception from the audience, making it a proud milestone as my inaugural directorial endeavor.
Do You Have Any Advice for Someone Aspiring to be a Director?
My advice would be to give it a shot! If you’ve never directed a play before, then working with your community theatre in other ways first can be a great way to get a sense for how the process works and to meet other people who love theatre, then you can talk with them about directing a show yourself when you feel confident doing so! Of course, getting into professional directing is a lot harder, but often that is simply meeting the right people and pursuing whatever opportunities you can find – don’t worry about being inexperienced, that’s how you learn!