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News Release

March 25, 2021

An Evening with Theatre Director Shelley Butler

College of the Canyons will proudly welcome theatre director Shelley Butler to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series Wednesday, March 31.

With a career that includes over 30 Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional credits, Butler has worked extensively on creating new work. She brings a unique perspective from years of experience working with writers in the development of new plays and musicals. She has also worked on the Broadway, First National Tour and U.K. productions of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and the Broadway production of “Guys and Dolls” at the Nederlander Theatre.

“We are fortunate to have Shelley Butler sharing insight from the world of professional practice in theatre across the United States,” said Jennifer Smolos, Dean of the School of Visual & Performing Arts.  “Not only has Shelley’s experience as a stage director worked to redefine theatrical norms, but she also continues to inspire women to pursue careers in directing. I am delighted that her presentation also coincides with Women’s History Month.”

Butler’s most recent work includes the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House Part 2” at South Coast Repertory and the Japanese premiere of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo. She has directed and developed work across the country for theaters including: Ars Nova, Primary Stages, E.S.T., WP Theater, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Pioneer Theatre Company, Geva, The Old Globe, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, New York Stage and Film, Dallas Lyric Stage, PlayPenn, New Dramatists, the Lark, New Georges, Dixon Place, The Playwright’s Realm, Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre and Keen Company.

Butler is also the recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship, a 2005 Director’s Guild of America Trainee, a member of SDC, the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and the Women’s Project Directors Lab. She also spent two seasons as artistic associate in charge of new play development for Hartford Stage and three seasons as artistic associate for Great Lakes Theater Festival.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, Butler will appear as part of the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Industry Insight Series for 2020-2021, sharing insight from her theatrical career and how she has adapted her work as a result of the pandemic.

All students, faculty, staff and Patrons of the Arts members are invited, with an opportunity to ask questions during the event.

For more information, please contact Dean Jennifer Smolos, at