Laura Shamas’ plays have been produced in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Europe, and Australia. Her work has been produced, performed and/or developed at many theaters, including: The Public Theater (New York), Native Voices at the Autry (Los Angeles) , Native Earth Performing Arts (Toronto), The Naked Expedition Project (New York), Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Free-Rain Theatre (Canberra, Australia), Purely Pensive Productions (Melbourne, Australia), The Lark Play Development Center (New York), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco), Walnut Street Theater (Philadelphia), Utah Shakespearean Theater Festival (Cedar City), West Coast Ensemble (Los Angeles), The Glines (New York), Philadelphia Theater Company, Soho Theatre (London), The Old Globe (San Diego), The Geva Theater (Rochester, New York), and the Denver Center Theater Company.
Among her playwriting honors are: Finalist for the 2015 Native American New Play Festival (Oklahoma City Theatre Company), the 2008 Garrard Best Play Award from the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, a 2006-2007 Aurand Harris Fellowship from the Children’s Theater Foundation of America, a Fringe First Award for Outstanding New Drama (Edinburgh), and a Drama-Logue Award.
Her published plays include LINCOLN VACATION, MOLIÈRE IN LOVE, RE-SOURCING, UP TO DATE, LADY-LIKE, PORTRAIT OF A NUDE, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (adaptation), AMELIA LIVES, and THE OTHER SHAKESPEARE. Her playwriting is published by Dramatic Publishing Company, Smith & Kraus, Playscripts.com, Broadway Play Publishing, & Heinemann. Two monologues from RE-SOURCING are published in 2009: The Best Men's Stage Monologues and Scenes (Smith & Kraus).
Her playwriting is archived at NAWPA, Native American Women Playwrights Archive, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
She has written many full-lengths, one-acts, and ten-minute plays. Twenty-three of Laura Shamas' plays may be found in the Alexander Street Press Women's Drama Database and in the Alexander Street Press North American Indian Drama Database.
Partial List/Description of Plays by Laura Shamas (sometimes listed as "Laura Annawyn Shamas") with some publishing information if applicable, and in chronological order of date of creation (followed by the actual publication date where applicable). All plays listed below have had readings, workshops, and/or productions.
THE OTHER SHAKESPEARE (published by Dramatic Publishing Company, 1980)
7 women, 7 men. Full-length. Based on an idea of Virginia Woolf's, the play imagines the life of a talented Shakespeare sister in Elizabethan England.
TALKING LEAVES [Winner, 2008, 5 Civilized Tribes Playwriting Award]
3 women, 5 men. Full-length. The search for the body of Sequoyah in 1845.
6 women, 6 men. Biography. Full-length. 1928 - 1932: Four key years in the life of American aviator Amelia Earhart. [Winner of 3 ACTF awards.]
AMELIA LIVES (published by Dramatic Publishing Co., 1984). 90 mins. A one woman show about aviator Amelia Earhart. [Winner, Fringe First Award, Edinburgh, Scotland.]
RUNESTONE HILL (Full-length)
THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY (Full-length)
GIRL WONDER (Full-length)
4 women, 1 man. Contemporary drama. Full-length. When a children's librarian is assaulted, her road to recovery is filled with literary characters and difficult choices.
BABYLON REVISITED (adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald)
5 women, 4 men. One-act. Paris, 1935: will Charlie Wales' past troubles interfere with regaining custody of his daughter?
TRANCE DANCE (Full-length)
LIVING DOLL (published by Dramatic Publishing Co., 1987) 2 women, 2 men. One-act. Drama. Rose, who used to run a doll hospital, now needs care herself.
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (adapted from Lady Joan Lindsay's novel, published by Dramatic Publishing Co., 1987)
18 women, 8 men. Full-length, period. What happened on top of Hanging Rock in Austrailia that Valentine's Day? The effects of heartbreaking mystery on community and family.
LADY-LIKE (published by Playscripts.com, 2004)
3 women. Full-length, period. The true story of Eleanor Butler, Sarah Ponsonby, and Mary Carryll, the Ladies of Llangollen. [Winner of Drama-Logue Award and Marquee Award]
3 women, 4 men. Contemporary comedy, full-length. Three BFFs considering affairs discover a magical restaurant with a spiritual, all-knowing Maitre'D.
THE GREAT DAKOTA TOM
1 woman, 2 men. One act. Contemporary. A rodeo comedian melts down during his act with grave consequences.
4 women, 4 men. Full-length, contemporary sci-fi dramedy. Vonna has the perfect job and marriage until her husband is sucked into the UFO movement in Southern California.
PORTRAIT OF A NUDE (published by Dramatic Publishing Co., 1995)
2 women, 3 men. (expandable to 12 men, 8 women). Period to Contemporary. Spanning 193, the play explores the creation and response to "The Naked Maja" by Francisco Goya.
MAKING SCENES (90 mins.)
THE WEIRD SISTERS
3 women, 4 men. Full-length. Period (40 pages in iambic pentameter). Imagined revisions and political consequences of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
UP TO DATE (published by Playscripts.com, 2004)
6-11 women. Comedy. A look at dating and romance in the 21st century from the female perspective.
MOLIÈRE IN LOVE (published by Dramatic Publishing Co., 2009)
2 women, 5 men. Comedy/farce, full-length. The story of how Molière and Corneille wrote a play-ballet in 30 days to please the king--and why.
RE-SOURCING (published by Broadway Play Publishing Company, 2008)
3 women, 3 men. Political satire, comedy. When workers in Arkansas find their jobs have been outsourced to India, they devise a plan.
VENUS IN ORANGE (co-written with Paula Cizmar)
10 women. Choreopoem exploring the pressures of beauty and love in contemporary times through the prism of Aphrodite/Venus.
PISTACHIO STORIES (short version published by Smith & Kraus, 2007), 2 women, 1 man. Ten minute play. In a post 9-11 America, friendships unravel due to terrorism concerns.
PISTACHIO STORIES (long version published in Living and Writing on America's Left Coast: Contemporary Women's Plays, Murasaki Books, 2010, available on Amazon.com)
2 women, 4 men. Drama, full-length, contemporary period. In a post 9-11 America, friendships unravel due to terrorism concerns.
4 women, 3 men. Drama, full-length. Two native American families become linked in a quest to save honey bees from extinction.
LINCOLN VACATION (published by Dramatic Publishing Co., 2009)
7 women, 5 men. One-act. Six teenagers are impacted by an intrepid summer "intensity" touring program centered on key points and places in Abraham Lincoln's life.
2 women, 2 men. Contemporary serio-comedy, 90 mins. When Barley, a young reporter, loses her job, she becomes involved with the decoy industry--with devastating personal results.
AND ON DAY SIX
2 women, 4 men. Two bio-paleontologists find their work will be compromised when faced with a new funding mandate.
LUCKY IN HOLLYWOOD
2 women, 2 men. A Native American family and a "Hollywood" family find their lives intertwine for generations, with surprising ramifications, spanning from 1943 - 2024. 2015 Finalist: Native American New Play Festival, Oklahoma City Theatre Company.
1 woman, 1 man. A young army psychiatrist becomes entangled in the world of The Odyssey on her first tour of duty in Afghanistan. On The 2015 Kilroys List: 2015 Honorable Mentions. 2016 Semi-Finalist, O’Neill Playwriting Conference.
LADY-LIKE [the musical] Book by Laura Shamas. Music and lyrics by Lisa Donovan Lukas. 3 women. A musical biography of "The Ladies of Llangollen." In 1780, two aristocratic Ladies and a maid fled abuse in Ireland, to do something that had never been done before. To listen to our demos, please click here.
1 woman, 2 men. An exploration of a 19th century love triangle.
Short Plays by Laura Shamas (2014-2016):
THE CUMIN GUARD, 3 women. An American reporter investigates the aftermath of a protest in Cairo.
First reading, Naked Expedition Project, NYC, Sept. 2014.
First production: Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, Nov. 2015.
LETTERS FROM LOTFIA, 2 women. (Written as part of the 365 Women a Year Project: A Playwriting Project). A look at the friendship between pilots Lotfia El Nadi and Amelia Earhart.
First reading, “In Her Name, A Weekend of Women’s Stories,” 13th Street Repertory, NYC. April 15-17, 2016.
“#51" - as part of the Jacob Lawrence “Migration Series” Project, Phillips Museum, Washington, D.C., October 2016.
Partial List Of Anthologies With Excerpts Or Short Works By Laura Shamas:
"Back In The Day," from UP TO DATE by Laura Shamas published in MOTHER-DAUGHTER MONOLOGUES, VOLUME 4, URGENT MATURITY, International Centre for Women Playwrights, 2009.
2 monologues from RE-SOURCING by Laura Shamas published in 2009: THE BEST MEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES AND SCENES, edited by Lawrence Harbison, Smith & Kraus, 2009.
PISTACHIO STORIES by Laura Shamas (short version) published in 2005: THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS FOR THREE OR MORE ACTORS by D. L. Lepidus (Editor), Smith & Kraus, 2007.
"Too Cool" from UP TO DATE by Laura Shamas in NEW MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN, Volume II, Eds. Liz Engelman and Tori Haring-Smith. Heinemann, 2005.
LUCK by Laura Shamas in SCENES AND MONOLOGUES FOR YOUNG ACTORS, ed. Kent Brown. Dramatic Publishing Company, 2000. Ten-minute play.