Playwright

 

Playwright/solo performer, Royal Shirée has been produced by Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Waterworks Players Theatre, Leading Ladies NY, Downtown Urban Theater Festival NY, Live Arts Charlottesville, and a professional reading by Virginia Playwrights and Screenwriters Initiative. Her solo show, Clippings, has been performed throughout Virginia and in New York. MOJOAA Performing Arts Company performed her piece, Victory, in "Reclamation, 'Female Voices of Color." Her ten-minute plays have been produced coast-to-coast, including Lightning Bugs, accepted to the inaugural 2017 Midwest Dramatist Conference.  She is a former Storyteller/Education Consultant at Avoca Museum.

In 2012, Shirée's ten-minute plays have been produced in the Original Works Play Festival in Arroyo Grande, California and the Red Eye 24-Hour 10 Minute Play Festival, produced simultaneously in all four US time zones. Two of her 10-minute plays have also been selected as part of the 2013 Original Works Play Festival in September 2013. Her ten-minute play, Cat House, is the first Hollins University short play to be published in the inaugural Red Eye 24 10-Minute Play Festival.  It is published by Original Works Publications, eTens, May 5, 2013.  In February 2015, several of Shirée's short plays were featured in a special performance at the University of Great Falls wherein she conducted a performance workshop for non-theatre majors.

In a collaboration with Joanne Hudson, Sisters is a fictional historical play funded by the Cultural Alliance of Western CT, through a grant given by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment of the Arts.

 

As a storyteller, she has been a commissioned writer and performer for The Legacy Museum of African-American History, the Juneteenth Coalition, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest July 4th celebration, and the historical Avoca Museum in her role as  Education Consultant/Storyteller, Re-enactor.  Her project, Hurston and Spencer: A Poetic Tale of Two Renaissance Women, was performed September 2014 and again in October 2014.  It was commissioned by Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR) for the Big Read program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.  The play premiered at the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum.  Also as part of the Big Read program, Shirée read an excerpt of Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God, to the performance composed by vibraphone virtuoso, Cecilia Smith, in an inaugural new theatre-jazz AGAR-commissioned production as part of the Big Read project.  Shirée is a percussionist, using her original compositions and improvisational drumming to underscore her poetry and performance storytelling.

 

Shirée’s directorial credits include The Widows, her full-length play, wherein she wrote and also performed.  It debuted at Virginia University of Lynchburg December 2014.  She also directed Murder at the Tonylou Awards, written by Tony Schwartz and Marylou Ambrose, a premiere dinner theatre fundraiser for Virginia University of Lynchburg Hayes-Allen Day in 2013.  Shirée also directed Adults, written by Erin Lane for the Red Eye 10s Festival at The Wayne Theatre/Gateway Theatre, Waynesboro, VA in 2013.  Her credits also include The Preacher, which she wrote and directed as a vignette for Nu Naybahood II, Here We Go Agin, at The Warehouse Theatre, The Academy of Fine Arts in 2009.  Her directorial debut is Lifetimes On the Street, an independent production, wherein she also exclusively wrote in Victory as an original opening narrative for the inclusion of a fellow thespian .  It has since been included as part of her first solo show, IDENTITY Crisis, and accepted to the MOJOAA Performing Arts Company's "Reclamation," Female Voices of Color slated for August 13, 2013 at Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, NC.

 

An activist and filmmaker, Shirée has had an impact on legislation for caregivers in the state of Virginia with her documentary, The Caregiver: Disturbing Images of Your Future, which she wrote, co-directed, and co-produced with Phil Spinner. The film debuted at the New York International and Independent Film Festival.  In her advocacy, she spoke before the Appropriations Committee and General Assembly, as well as various agencies.  In cooperation with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the documentary was submitted to 46 members of the Virginia legislative body and various committees for budget discussion.  In 2003, the state appropriated funding for caregivers and family caregivers and is still implemented.  The documentary is catalogued in the library at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA).

 

Shirée is a board member and producer/director for Riverviews Artspace. 

She was nominated for the James River Council Arts and Humanities' public arts project, Celebrate Diversity: Black Artists in Lynchburg. She earned a hybrid English M.A. in Scholarship and Creative Writing from Lynchburg College 2012 and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hollins University 2013; she is a member of the Dramatist's Guild, The Playwrights' Center, ATHE, and a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

 

I refused to be silent, and I refused to be invisible. I may have been the underdog, but I wasn’t under.

Royal Shirée