Claud Spadafora

  • Experimental
  • Film
  • Graphic Design
  • Mixed Media
  • Movement Based Theatre
  • Multimedia
  • Musical Theatre
  • New Media
  • One Person Show
  • Performance Art
  • Photography
  • Play Writing
  • Poetry
  • Site Specific
  • Spoken Word
  • Videography
  • Voice Acting


Claud Spadafora (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist and the co- lead of award-winning arts collective Femmepire. Claud’s works explore themes of body image and fat liberation, intergenerational trauma and mental illness, rest as resistance, queerness and kink, rage, chaos, and mess. Claud has lived in this area (Hamilton, or Ohròn:wakon in Kanien'kéha) for their whole life, and they’re deeply invested in the arts here, specifically in keeping community and access at the forefront and battling against the ongoing gentrification of our spaces. Claud uses lots of mediums to tell the stories they need to tell. They work in theatre as a playwright and performer, and are expanding their skills as a theatre director and producer as well. They also work in film in all stages of production, with skills in cinematography and post-production editing, as well as screenwriting and performance. Claud enjoys mixing mediums and will incorporate their skills in music and vocals, digital arts and graphic design, and poetry into larger performance works. They like to work in the genres of camp, science fiction, surrealism, satire, and documentary. Claud is a second generation settler of Italian and Irish origin.

Artist Statement:

My arts practice follows a model of process over product, and people over process. The goal is to give myself and my community a chance to artistically express, embody, and recontextualize our lived experiences, as a form of healing and empowerment. That drive is why I started Femmepire with Kitoko Mai, my constant collaborator since we met at McMaster School of the Arts in 2014. Femmepire is a small, low-capacity organization at the moment, but me and Kitoko are learning to expand in a way that’s sustainable for us, as two disabled and neurodivergent artists. The function of Femmepire is to use art and artmaking to bolster cross-movement solidarity in Hamilton, contributing to collective liberation. Since we must collaborate with the reality and trauma of our ongoing oppressions, we seek to do so while curating joy and pleasure for communities that might struggle to access it- in other words, weaponizing whimsy.

In arts institutions, I see a concerning pattern of under-served folks being wrung for their trauma or demographic-specific insight, with nothing in place to care for the emotional toll such work takes. Consequently, we have an arts ecology where predominantly privileged audiences take in stories and bodies that make us feel like we’re advancing equity in the arts, while those artists are expected to sacrifice their safety and sustainability for a seat at the table. One of my core values as a maker is that work, especially work surrounding stigmatized topics, should help both the viewer and the creators in equal measure.



  • Claud won 2nd place in the Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest in 2021. 
  • Claud’s production of her play Bimbos in Space! won Best In BYOV and Best in Fringe at the 2023 Hamilton Fringe Festival, selling the most tickets of more than 50 productions. Inspired by the absurd camp and euphoric filth of sci-fi B movies and exploitation film of the 1960s, this is a backwards morality tale that speaks to the virtue of the liberating things we were never taught to value: hyper-femininity, rest, self-love and vanity, owning your sexuality, sex work, kink, queerness, and the possibility of restorative justice. We're neither covering up the grime nor wallowing it in– it’s sticking glitter on the grime and calling it fashion.
  • We were invited to stage a remount of Bimbos in Space! at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in fall 2023.
  • During lockdown in 2021, Claud wrote a play for the Frost Bites festival called Bathtub Spaceship, an immersive and interactive live-stream sci-fi adventure. In it, Claud leads a small audience of “astronauts” through an interstellar rescue mission they pursue from their own bathtub (spaceship). Using live vocal modulation and Youtube's live chat, Claud plays 3 different characters, typing and speaking while simultaneously operating all the tech via 3 monitors, 2 computers, and unearned hubris. The piece explores themes of isolation, sarcastic robots, and how we need each other. Link to trailer. Link to behind the scenes. Link to review in Beyond James.



  • As her thesis project at McMaster University, Claud created Recovering, a series of short films chronicling the process of recovering from an eating disorder, viewed through the lens of the five stages of grief. The episodes combine Claud's spoken word poetry, audio from community members with lived experience that Claud interviewed, contemporary dance, and mixed media. Recovery was shortlisted at Films on the Fringe 2021. Link to episode. Link to another episode. 
  • Claud also made a stop-motion film starring two adventurous anthropomorphic dildos because no one told her not to.
  • Funded by a CCA Research and Development grant, Claud worked with Agile Films to explore methods of accessible filmmaking in collaboration with Centre3 and Factory Media Centre. The resulting film, The Box Dwellers, was screened at FMC in Winter 2023.



  • Claud won the Hamilton Fringe Monologue Slam in 2023. 
  • Claud performed and co-wrote plays in three previous Hamilton Frost Bites Festivals, including Whorearchy: Pilgrimage (Critics Choice, View Mag) and Key Words Include. 
  • She performed in Tottering Biped Theatre's Shakespeare at the Rock festival for 3 years, before taking the helm in 2019, when she directed a queer reimagining of Twelfth Night. 
  • Claud played the lead in #dirtygirl, the winner of the Hamilton Fringe Festival's Audience Choice Award in 2016. 
  • Claud voiced the lead in a horror video game called Debris
  • Claud was the disembodied announcer voice at the Hamilton Arts Awards in 2018. 
  • Short clip of Claud performing at a musical theatre cabaret.



  •  in 2019, Claud co-developed and co-facilitated accessible filmmaking workshops with Agile Arts, which aimed to empower marginalized youth to tell their own stories with limited resources (such as creating compelling films with user friendly smartphone cameras, instead of fancier industry camera equipment)
  • in 2023, Claud created a 9x6ft map of Hamilton made of yarn and an accompanying documentary on local activism. This work was intended to help us Hamiltonians attach meaning to the places we reside and move through every day; to connect streets and structures we already know to the work happening within them; to encourage us to view our city in a different light and move our collective restlessness into strong community work. Passerby's at the Bernie Morelli Community Centre were encouraged to write down community commitments on little pieces of paper and attach them to the yarn framework. Link to documentary.



  • In 2023, Claud won the Shirley Elford Commission Prize at the Hamilton Arts Awards.
  • Claud has showcased her film work at Hamilton Community Foundation’s Women For Change conference
  • Claud was a Top 5 finalist for a 2017 Emerge Media Awards. 
  • Claud was an Emerging Artist nominee at the 2020 Hamilton Arts Awards
  • Claud won second place prize in Factory Media Centre's 150 Seconds of Ontario filmmaking contest in 2018. 
  • Claud’s company, Femmepire, is the current company in residence with Hamilton Festival Theatre Company.

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