Shannon is PhD Candidate in Theatre History and Criticism at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the history of Chicago’s Off-Loop Theatre movement, specifically the manner in which the success of Steppenwolf Theatre Company has created a habitus that has constructed the subsequent history of the Chicago theatre community since the 1970s. He has presented papers at the first Chicago Theatre History Symposium in 2011 and is involved in organizing the second symposium, tentatively scheduled for 2016. He has also presented papers at the Mid-American Theatre Conference in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. He has received two fellowships to the Newberry Library in Chicago, one for dissertation research and a second to do dramaturgical research for WAAASEWAKEMEG: A Faraway Place, a performance piece based on the life of Anishinaabe poet Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, which was subsequently performed at Figure One Gallery in Champaign. Directing and devised performance are also interests: at UIUC, he has worked with Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre, and has performed in Earth 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 Animation at 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. He currently teaches Communications 101 at UIUC and Fundamentals of Theatre at Illinois State University.
BA in Theatre (Arts Administration and Directing) Western Michigan University, 1992
MS in Theatre History, Illinois State University, 2011