THEATRE MAKER • DIRECTOR • CULTURAL PRODUCER
Shanara Gabrielle is a purpose driven multi-hyphenate with a focus on exceptional theatrical experiences for all audiences. As an artist, leader, and cultural producer, Shanara is inspired to shape the future of arts institutions and artistic practice as essential to civic life. Driven by stories of justice and tales of imagination, she is interested in fostering new work and reimagining classics with artists of courage and depth. Shanara is a seasoned artist and entrepreneurial leader, with the vision, charisma, and insight to make things happen.
Ms. Gabrielle is a recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Foundation Award in theatre, the Grace LeVine Theatre Award, a Visionary Women in the Arts Nominee, and Alive Magazine named her “Arts Maven of the Year.” Shanara’s directing work has been nominated for a Critic’s Circle Award, and noted as the “Best of the Year”. As an actress, Shanara has been nominated and won numerous Helen Hayes, Kevin Kline, and Critic’s Circle awards. She has received grants from: TCG, Theatre Washington, Regional Arts Commission, a Write Now Conference, and The Actor’s Fund. Shanara is a founding member of TCG’s “The Ferguson Moment” and also the founder of A.A.T Ferguson, a non-profit arts and education organization founded in the wake of Michael Brown’s murder, which received support from Talib Kweli’s Action Coalition, and earned national recognition in Rolling Stone Magazine.
With extensive experience as an artist and creative leader in the theatre industry, Shanara brings wide ranging experience from contracted leadership roles at large scale organizations like Arena Stage and the Kennedy Center, grassroots arts and activism projects like Working In DC, and a successful high-level acting career. This experience gives Shanara a deep understanding of best practices from across the field as an artist, leader, and entrepreneur.
Shanara brings professionalism, impeccable training, and an open spirit to every job she takes on. She is proudly from Iowa and makes a mean bowl of popcorn, can whip up a delicious meal from an empty cabinet, and since she’s an aerialist, she can probably climb a rope faster than you can. Though she loves her work, when she’s not in the rehearsal room or in the theatre, look for her to be road tripping with her family or spending time in the sunshine.