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Conversations with Shaun Landry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaun Landry.

Shaun, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have been doing theatre since I was a preteen and improvising since I was 18 years old.

My journey as an African American Woman actress started in prisons doing drama therapy with Geese Theatre Company and that journey brought me to The Second City Chicago, African American Shakespeare and the first black improv ensemble OBN.

My journey continues wanting to bring diverse voices to the stage along with diverse youth with The Ledge Theatre and a home of our own in Los Angeles in collaboration with Impro Theatre on Vermont Avenue.

The journey never stops until you are laid into the ground or into an urn. That is my belief.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Any road that is smooth is always a boring ride. The journey has been filled with systemic racism, lost opportunities and sincere sadness in the world of being who I am as an African American female actor.

From Being called “The Dog and Pony Show” with my all-black ensemble to literally yesterday on my FB wall explaining the actual lineage of the term African American to a man convinced Elon Musk is “African American” The struggle is real.

But I rather have a struggled in theatre instead of the smooth road.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Theatre, Arts in Education, Teaching Theatre, Directing Theatre and Improvisation.

I’m very proud of all of it.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
What matters most to me is passing along the knowledge I have learned in theatre to a new generation. It’s why The Ledge exists. Theatre and the Arts have made me a better person, community activist and everything in between.

Theatre matters. Diverse voices in theatre matter. Empowering youth of color to not only perform but to take ownership of theatres in Los Angeles and naturallionally matters.

As of this typing, I’m in the front listening to people of color deconstruct improvisationally Tennessee Williams.

This matter to me.

I’m proud of creating The Ledge.
I’m proud it matters to have our voices heard.
It matters.  And we hope to stay alive with donations to our nonprofit theatre. with any amount of generosity.


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Image Credits
All Image by The Ledge Theatre

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