THE SHORT STORY:
Shannon is a freelance director and theatrical artist proudly working with industry professionals and students to create creatively affirming, socially responsible, and innovative theatrical experiences. She currently serves as an Artistic Associate for The Millbrook Playhouse, and as the Director of Children's Theatre for The Ocean City Theatre Company, a member of Liberate Artists, and now proudly joins the board for the Philadelphia Women's Theater Festival! She can be seen onstage and off stage as a director, performer, writer, and teaching artist. Favorite directing credits: Mama Mia, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, XANADU, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Annie, Barefoot in the Park, Menken's A Christmas Carol, Ellis Island: Gateway to a Dream, 8 Track: Sounds of the 70's, Junie B. Jones. Favorite roles include: Narrator, Every Brilliant Thing; Ursula, The Little Mermaid; Yente, Fiddler on The Roof; Myrtle Mae Simmons, Harvey featuring Elinor Donahue; Betty Jean, The Marvelous Wonderettes; Judith, Boeing Boeing; Mud Donahue; My Vaudeville Man (regional premiere); Liza/Barbra/Ethel, Forbidden Broadway; Charlotte, I Am My Own Wife.
THE LONG VERSION
Shannon is a director, performer, writer, and teaching artist working to interpolate social justice and arts. This Philadelphia native and arts and crafts enthusiast graduated from Pace University with her BFA in Musical Theater, Magna Cum Laude in 2011.
Her passion is innovative, creative, and original storytelling. Through her
work she is joyful to bring narrative to life, and to re-contextualize well
known theatrical pieces through a creative, socially conscious lens. She
strives to bring a historical context to her work, and push the actors and
audience to question their value systems and preconceived notions with
regard to the piece being explored. She is a visual storyteller, and believes
in the power of the human form to create stunning visuals and adventurous
moments in her work. Her creative storytelling earned her the position as
the Children's Series Director for The Ocean City Theatre Company,
and Artistic Associate at The Millbrook Playhouse.
As a writer, she creates theater for young audience and docu-drama shows to raise awareness of LGBTQ+, feminist, and social justice issues. Her original work has been produced at The Millbrook Playhouse, The Ocean City Theatre Company children's summer series, Qunice Productions GAYFEST, Philly FRINGE ARTS, and the Trans Health Conference in Philadelphia. She has performed as an accomplished character actress nationally in plays and musicals, including in television star Elinor Donahue's farewell performance of Harvey with the Judson Theatre Company.
She has taught, performed with, and directed for Liberate Artists, The Ocean City Theatre Company, Beautiful Soup Theater Collective (NYC), Judson Theatre Company, Sundog Theatre Company (NYC), The Millbrook Playhouse, Quince Productions, Big Apple Musicals LLC, The Summer institute for the gifted at Bryn Mawr and Princeton University, Hedgerow Theatre Company, The Montgomery County Cultural Center, and the Pennsylvania Arts in Education Partnership.
She loves crocheting, and sells her work while donating the proceeds to progressive organizations supporting equality and social justice. She is the happy fiancee of Caleb Essenthier, and together they work fervently as advocates for the LGBTQ+ and transgender community.
As a teaching artist, Shannon uses the
performing arts to more deeply
connect her students to their inner wells
of creativity, empathy, confidence, and
imagination, thus allowing richer connections to their creative lives in and out of theater. She strives to create more specific, fulfilled, artists, and more inquisitive, attentive, world citizens by developing their knowledge of the theater, and themselves as artists and humans.