Artist Statement

As a theatre artist for the past 20 years, I have been on a constant quest for adventure, seeking the path less travelled, hoping to subvert the expectations of both my audiences and myself.


Starting out in Chicago I had only an English degree and a desire to work then spent a decade cutting my teeth on brand new scripts, mostly realistic, in small, non-equity storefront theaters.


As I journeyed south to Arkansas, I cultivated my curiosity for the absurd, the experimental, and site-specific work, and developed a new passion for empowering the disempowered.


As an artistic director, writer, and director, I strive to place audiences in non-traditional theatre environments--a tin-walled speakeasy with seating for no more than twenty, a cold, brick-lined, unfinished basement I discovered quite by accident, or the great hall of a major American art museum--then provoke them with stories of strong women and rebellious adventurers just like myself.


I gain inspiration for my work from the shape of a space, imagining the piece through the eyes of a first time theatre-goer, with the goal of inspiring in them a sense of whimsical disorientation, hoping to move them to action, and, above all, to embark upon their own adventures.


Laura Shatkus is an actor, director, and writer who earned an MFA in Acting from the University of Arkansas and serves as the Artistic and Producing Director of ArkansasStaged. Laura spent 10 years working and training as a theatre artist in Chicago before relocating to Fayetteville for graduate school, where she received an MFA in Acting 2015. In Northwest Arkansas, Laura has worked professionally with TheatreSquared, The Northwest Arkansas Shakespeare Festival, The Artist’s Laboratory Theatre, NWA Prison Stories Project, The Global Campus, Block Street Theatre and Trike Theatre as both an actor and teaching artist. Chicago and Regional acting credits include work with Florida Repertory Theatre, The Hippodrome Theatre, North Dakota Shakespeare Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Collaboraction, Mary-Arrchie, Muse of Fire, and 16th Street Theatre among others. She has also directed Shakespeare in Love and Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck's well-loved opera) at the University of Arkansas in addition to directing work with Opera Fayetteville, the William Inge Festival, and ArkansasStaged.