Shualee Cook – Playwright, Composer, Lyricist

Latest News

July 10th, 2021

Next weekend is the start of The Road Theatre Company’s 12th annual Summer Playwrights Festival, featuring 25 plays in 12 days! My play Earworm is opening the second week of programming on Thursday, July 22nd at 6:00pm PST. The whole festival is being presented virtually, so you can catch my play as well as 2 dozen-plus great shows no matter where you are. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Hope to see you all there!

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https://roadtheatre.org/event/summer-playwrights-festival-12/

May 28th, 2021

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Next weekend is the premiere of my first ever opera I’ve written the libretto for as part of Strange Trace’s Stencils Festival. The Music of the Goddess is a mythological retelling of true events in the life of Clara Rockmore, the first virtuoso player of the theremin. The festival is virtual, so you can check it out wherever you’re at! You can purchase tickets here:

https://www.strangetrace.org/stencils

March 8th, 2021

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Parity Productions has done a fabulous Zoom reading of my new play Cercle Hermaphrodits, and it’s currently available to watch for free between now and March 22nd here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cercle-hermaphroditos-screening-of-the-live-zoom-performance-tickets-141461289525?fbclid=IwAR3SiHFJfajcBOYisrTQ2SP0sOCJ_exDzBNboE89n9Xsp5imp68k–ELVFE
Our amazing cast and crew really did outstanding job, so I hope you’ll check it out!

January 12th, 2021

As usual, it takes me FOREVER to actually get around to posting exciting news, and I really need to work on that. It’s been a New Year’s resolution of mine before, but maybe it’ll finally stick this time! Anyhow, for the last few months, I have had the privilege of working with the new media opera company Strange Trace on a new one act opera with the brilliant composer Matt Frey for the 2021 Stencils Festival! We’re adapting my short play The Music of the Goddess into what I think is a far more suitable medium for the story, and I’m really excited with how it’s coming out so far. Can’t wait for you to hear it!122976361_171111031307522_8568229372736294374_o

July 9th, 2020

Started the week by finally finishing the first draft of my new play, Choleramusik, and turning it in to the theatre that commissioned it. This script has somehow managed to be the most wildly ambitious, shoot-for-the-moon thing I’ve written insofar as practical production considerations are concerned while also being the shortest full length play that I’ve ever managed. By a LOT.  So that’s an unexpected combo. But perhaps that makes sense, as it’s a play about 19th century composer Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s most ambitious, largest scale work – that still managed to fit into a compact thirty minutes. It’s very possible that listening to her beautiful cantata over and over, I ended up borrowing form as well as content. Anyhow, it’s 90 minutes, but still big and strange and feels like Checkhov and Virginia Woolf got in a terrible three vehicle pileup with a symphony orchestra touring bus, and I have no idea if it works, but I’m quite eager to find out.

And today marked my first ever virtual development process, working with the fine folks at Parity Productions in New York via the interwebs. Definitely a new experience, but felt surprisingly natural for the most part. I found myself acclimating rather easily to the actual rehearsal parts. The technology can deliver that fairly well. What it can’t quite replicate is the ten minute break, the myriad small, easy interactions that somehow thrive within what seem to be such rigid confines. None of the lovely conversations that brew up while waiting for the coffee maker to do its thing, or while standing together talking as we wait to use the single tiny bathroom in the rehearsal space one by one. Yes, they’re strange things to feel romantically nostalgic about, but I do anyway. Nevertheless, this cast is amazing, and I’m already getting good work done, and it’s lovely to see some familiar faces again, even if it’s through a digital window.

86271706_10158018308153024_1408229405951524864_oJune 15th, 2020

Wow. Just realized I hadn’t updated the latest news section of this site in right about six months! Which makes a little more sense when you factor in the specific six months it’s been … ’cause yeah. Quite the ride. In any case, here’s the quick catch-up. Been working on a brand new play that I should be finishing in the next few days. Can’t officially talk about it yet, but there are some exciting possibilities brewing around it that I’ll hopefully be able to share shortly. Also, looking at a potential virtual reading of one of my latest works sometime next month. More details to come. So really, most of my latest news is more like “latest hints of things that will be news later.”  EXCEPT FOR:

This huge news that I somehow completely spaced on posting for six months. I was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts Council at the beginning of the year, along with nine other incredible artists (including my wonderful novelist friend Kea Wilson – yay!). It is a tremendous honor, and pretty much solely responsible for the fact that I’ve been able to make ends meet and still get any writing done at all during this pandemic. So thank you, RAC. This fellowship has been a literal life saver for me. Here’s some more details and info on my amazing cohort:

2020 Artist Fellowship Page