Shannon is PhD student in Theatre History and Criticism at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His area of research is the history of Chicago’s Off-Loop Theatre movement, particularly the manner in which the success of Steppenwolf Theatre Company has contributed to the growth of the theatre scene in the city since the 1970s. He has presented papers on Chicago Off-Loop theatre at the Mid-American Theatre Conference in 2011 and 2012, and at the first Chicago Theatre History Symposium in 2011.He is currently involved in planning and organizing the next Chicago Theatre History symposium, scheduled for 2016. Directing and devised performance are also interests: at UIUC, he works with Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre, and has performed inEarth Beat, Myth and Magic, World Fest, and Shoe Stories – family events at the Spurlock Museum. In 2011, Shannon directed a movement-based production of Lee Breuer’s Red Horse Animationat Illinois State University. Prior to graduate school, Shannon worked as a director and theatre administrator in Chicago. From 2000 – 2009, Shannon was the operations coordinator for the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and had the opportunity to work with such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Merce Cunningham, Joe Goode, Eiko and Koma, and Urban Bush Women.
BA in Theatre (Arts Administration and Directing) Western Michigan University, 1992
MS in Theatre History, Illinois State University, 2011