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.

Biography

Laura Shatkus is an actor, director, and producer originally from Chicago.

 

She was most recently seen in As You Like It at the Northwest Arkansas Shakespeare Festival and in Ripcord at The Hippodrome Theatre, where she also appeared in 1984 and A Christmas Carol.

 

Chicago credits include roles in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Talk Radio (The Gift Theatre), Accidental Rapture and Mariposa Nocturna (16th Street Theatre), Macbeth (Muse of Fire), Sketchbook and El Grito Del Bronx (Collaboration), Beggars in the House of Plenty (Mary Arrchie), and Berwyn Avenue (VonOrthal Puppets), among others. Other notable regional credits include Romeo and Juliet (ND Shakes) and appearances in Intimate Apparel, The Fall Of The House, All The Way, Amadeus, and several seasons in The Arkansas New Play Festival (working on new plays with Qui Nguyen and Karen Zacarias among others) all at TheatreSquared. Laura is the Producing and Artistic Director of ArkansasStaged, a collective of theatre artists, placing an emphasis on women’s voices and leadership. She holds an MFA in theatre from the University of Arkansas and was named one of 20 visionaries by the Arkansas Times in 2017.