A teaching artist, actor and activist. Shawnna has been working with diverse groups of young people for over 20 years. She has worked with students from around the world (England, Ireland, Canada, the U.S.A. and beyond) creating theatre. She loves helping these kids discover the value in their own stories and giving them the tools and opportunity to share their voices with the world. She has a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Oregon, studied devising and physical theatre at the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre and holds a Masters Degree in Educational Theatre from N.Y.U. with a focus on Applied Theatre. Shawnna has worked at theatres across the country such as San Diego Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre. In Charlotte, Shawnna has acted with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, C.A.S.T. and CPCC where she won the Metrolina Theatre Association award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for her Charlotte debut in the title role of “Sylvia”.
Nicia is the founding Artistic Director of PaperHouse Theatre in Charlotte, NC. She has worked extensively with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, where she was a Core Artist for several years, with the combined duties of acting, directing and teaching for the company. She has taught a wide variety of ages from creative drama for 3 yr. olds to pre-professional training for teens as an instructor of the Ensemble Company. She has also been a teaching artist for the Neighborhood Bridges program for over 7 years, partnering with CMS classroom teachers for a 12-week residency with 4th graders that focuses on writing, storytelling, and performance. Nicia has acted and directed for Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and PaperHouse Theatre, among many others. She is currently working on her fifth season as Artistic Director for PaperHouse Theatre, acting, directing, and developing new works. She is a graduate of Winthrop University’s Theatre Department where she earned a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis on Performance.
Partner Organizations and Consultants:
Kaylie Otten: Charlotte Catholic Dioceses Refugee Resettlement Program Director
Meighan Schexnayder: Meighan Schexnayder is the Assistant Facilitator to the youth program at Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Office.
Dr. Sarah Griffith: Queens University
Rabbi Judy Schindler: Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religion Department Queens University and Director of the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice
Louise Clark: Advocacy Network Refugee Coordinator, Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice