Shawn is a designer and playwright who serves as an Associate Professor as well as
the Head of the Graduate Program in Theatre. A New Jersey native and former resident
of New York and Boston, he holds an MFA from Brandeis University. He is also the 2012
Utah State University Creative Artist of the Year.
Shawn’s design work includes the Off-Broadway productions of Seal Sings Its Song for Woken’ Glacier Theatre Company and Cop Out and The Talking Dog at the Gene Frankel Theatre in New York. Some of his other professional designs are Proof, Topdog/Underdog, Beckett’s Happy Days, The Woolgatherer, John Logan’s Red, Time Stands Still and the operas Faust, Cavelleria Rusticana, Pagliacci and the Italian Straw Hat, among others. He has designed for Cape May Stage (NJ), Fremont Centre Theatre (Los Angeles), The Egyptian Theatre Company, Utah Festival Opera Company, New England Conservatory (Boston), Berks Grand Opera and Old Lyric Repertory Company. His university designs include King Lear, Uncle Vanya, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Mad Woman of Chaillot, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Beaux' Stratagem, The Comedy of Errors and Two-Headed. Shawn's designs have been displayed at The Lincoln Center in New York and twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, including a 2002 production of The Laramie Project.
As a playwright Shawn’s plays include SCOPE, Do Not Hit Golf Balls into Mexico, The News: August 4 2005, Chumming and How to Make a Rope Swing. His work has received staged-readings or full productions at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Urban Stages (Off-Broadway), Repertorio Español (Off-Broadway), Salt Lake Acting Company, Cape May Stage (NJ), and the Kennedy Center (DC). Shawn’s play How to Make a Rope Swing was recently awarded an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award for 2012. He now serves as the Associate Director of the newly-formed National Playwriting Symposium at Cape May Stage and he is the Founding Director of the Fusion Theatre Project, a non-traditional company that is based at USU and creates original works of social-themed theatre.