Elizabeth Shannon

By School of Performing Arts

Elizabeth Shannon (ELLIS) is an actor, playwright, and director. She is a rising junior at Marymount Manhattan College, working to obtain her BFA Acting and BA Writing for the Stage degrees. She has completed a residency with Young Playwrights Theatre of DC and is a four time winner of The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival. She was an inaugural winner of ENOUGH! Plays to End Gun Violence in 2020, having her play “Loaded Language” produced in 47 places across the world and counting. She has also been a finalist with Wild Imaginings Waco Epiphanies New Works Festival and Think Tank Theatre's 2022 TYA Playwrights Festivals. Recently she was a winner of the “Magic in Rough Spaces” competition with Rorschach Theatre in DC. She was a winner of the 2023 Horizon Theatre’s New South Young Playwrights Festival in Atlanta. One of her ten-minute plays, “Kaylee and Adelyn” was reviewed by theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck on WYPR (August 24, 2023), saying “…the play’s ending just punches you in the gut… a stand-out, well-written play.” She has worked with Baltimore Centerstage, Third Avenue Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, The Trailblazers Collective, Olney Theatre of DC, Rapid Lemon Productions, The Secret Theatre, Kumu Kahua Theatre, CapitalQ Theatre, and many others. You can find her play “Loaded Language” available for licensing on Playscripts. 

She started writing “Mama Bushwick is Dead” when she was seventeen years old. It’s original form was around 70 pages long, before being shortened into a one act that was about 50 pages. Then, when she was 18-19, she developed it for a year with Young Playwrights Theatre of DC, hoping to transform it into a full length once again that had more depth, clarity, and ensemble work. Over a year she did so, with the script now around 100 pages. The process involved lots of cutting and adding scenes and storylines, which could be confusing, but revealed so much about the characters and allowed for a complex and nuanced story without dead space. Throughout her residency, she also worked with a dramaturg to do research about hoarding and grief to ensure she was treating those subjects with care and respect, and developed the mother herself as a character, even though she is never seen. She is so excited to share this play with you! 

Elizabeth Shannon's Headshot