From Libertyville to London, and beyond...

 

Shannon grew up in Libertyville, IL and attended Libertyville High School where she enjoyed participating in theatre (high school credits include Our Town, Pride and Prejudice, and Beauty and the Beast), choir (including several advanced acapella groups), and creative writing. 

Shannon absolutely loved her time at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she had the opportunity to act both in class and in main stage productions, as well as learn about the backstage components of theatre, such as lighting and costume design. In addition to her theatre classes, she took writing classes whenever possible.

The summer after her sophomore year of college, Shannon interned at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, one of the Midwest's largest theaters, in downtown Indianapolis. Shannon worked alongside professional actors, directors, musicians, and choreographers, to teach students aged 8-10 scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream and songs from popular musicals.

In the spring semester of her junior year, Shannon traveled--alone!-- to Egham, a village near London, England to study Shakespeare, Contemporary Theatre, and Philosophy of the Arts at Royal Holloway University of London. Her semester (about six months) abroad broadened Shannon's perspective as an actor and a person. 

Outside of her time overseas, Butler's VITA (Visiting International Theatre Artists) program provided Shannon with other opportunities to look at theatre from a global perspective. While at college, Shannon performed in several productions directed by prolific London stage actor Tim Hardy, who is also on the board at the famed Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts, or RADA, in England. She also performed traditional Kathkali dance in a production directed by four theatre artists from India, and blended broad Shakespearean physical comedy with traditional Indonesian stylized theatre techniques in a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream adapted by her Balinese professor, Dr. I Nyoman Sedana

Shannon began assisting teaching youth classes at imProv Playhouse when she herself was fourteen years old. She has now served as staff on seven fully staged youth productions, for students ranging in age from six to sixteen. Over the years, she has graduated from junior counselor to stage manager, to assistant director, to director and choreographer running the show! She has done everything from paint a wooden Greased Lightning for "Grease, Junior" to created Enchanted Object costumes from ordinary household supplies for "Beauty and the Beast, Junior" to arranging songs for "High School Musical," to choreographing dances for a summer camp based on the hit TV show "GLEE." Shannon loves her students and hopes to help create a friendly, fun, welcoming environment for them to grow as performers. 

 

Shannon enjoys writing as well as reading, and penned an original screenplay to serve as the capstone to her degree at Butler University. She has adapted several well-loved children's stories for the stage, and her students have performed them as part of imProv Playhouse's annual summer camps.

In the winter of 2015, Shannon assistant directed imProv Playhouse's celebrated annual production of The Gathering, a thoughtful play about the last hour of the Last Supper. In the spring of 2015, imProv hosted a workshop reading of Shannon's original stage adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Shannon continues to seek out new creative opportunities to broaden her horizons and skill set, including writing for comedy sketch shows at Chicago's Cornservatory Theater and continuing her education as an actor.

Shannon's hobbies include reading, baking, crafting, and begging her morbidly obese cat, Luna, to exercise. She enjoys performing improv comedy and attending plays, musicals, muesems exhibits, and cultural events in the great city of Chicago. She is a frequent guest on friends' podcasts thanks to her reputation as a goof who can, quote, "talk the paint off a door."