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About Peyton

Peyton Shaffer is an accomplished performer who has graced many of the professional stages of the Chicagoland area. She began acting at age 8, in local youth and community theater productions. When she was 10, she was cast in her first professional role as ‘Kate’ in the Paramount Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Annie and has been working steadily ever since! She has gone on to perform to standing ovation audiences in other Broadway Series shows at Paramount, such as Music Man, A Christmas Story the Musical, and Mary Poppins, where she played the role of ‘Jane Banks.’  Peyton has also been seen at Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook, where she played the lead role of ‘Jojo’, in their production of Seussical. She was also seen in their Jeff Nominated productions of Les Miserables, as ‘Young Eponine,’ and Billy Elliot, as ‘Debbie.’ Peyton has also performed in productions with Music Theater Works, and has appeared as ‘Janice Whitaker’ in the regional premiere of Far From Heaven at Porchlight Music Theatre. Peyton was also honored to play the role of ‘Young Queen Elizabeth’ in the US Premiere of The Last Wife at Timeline Theater and was  tapped to play the titular role of ‘Heidi’ with Provision Theater. 

In 2019, Peyton was thrilled to play the role of Carolyn Johnson in the critically acclaimed Bridges of Madison County, at Theo Ubique Theatre in Chicago, where the production later went on to win the 2019 Jeff Award for Best Musical.”


Peyton received rave reviews for her portrayal of ‘Adam’ in the world premiere of Aline Lathorp’s play, Merchild, at 16th Street Theater. She was tasked with taking on the role of a young boy, who gender identifies as female, and Chris Jones, of the Chicago Tribune, referred to her portrayal as “formidably impressive,” while Jack Helbig of the Chicago Reader called her performance “remarkable.” 


When not on stage, Peyton has honed her on camera skills by playing supporting lead roles in various MFA Thesis films, and the web series, Vendors.


Peyton is an accomplished dancer, proficient in Ballet Technique, Tap, Jazz, but her passion is Aerial Dance! She has studied Aerial Silks for six years, and was thrilled to be able to perform as an aerialist in the 2018 IHSTF All State high school production of Big Fish. Peyton was able to graduate from high school in 3 years, and is currently studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Directors have praised her level of maturity, both on and off the stage, and she knows she has been blessed to have worked with some of the most talented actors and directing teams in Chicago! 


Press Mentions

MERCHILD Press Mentions


"Merchild" is quite well-acted at the 16th Street Theatre, with young Shaffer offering a formidably impressive performance in a role that asks a kid to go far beyond what most child actors ever are asked to do."

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


"But Peyton Shaffer, as the child at the center of the story, steals the show with her remarkable performance."

- Jack Helbig (Chicago Reader) Five Stars


"Peyton Shaffer, one of the most touching and talented young actors I've seen, plays smart and kind Adam, an 8-year-old son who is causing conflict within his family."

- Doug Deuchler, Oak


"This is Adam ( a sparkling portrayal by Peyton Shaffer)."

-Alan Bresloff , Around the Town Chicago


" her production, which features strong performances by all concerned and especially by the remarkable Peyton Shaffer as Adam."

- Kelly Kleinman, Dueling Critics.

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