Shawna Lucey is an American theater and opera director based in New York City. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Theater (BA) & Italian (BA) at the University of Texas at Austin. After working in the Barnard and Columbia Theater department as well as at the world-famous Bread and Puppet Theater, she moved to Russia in order to pursue a Master’s degree.
Her first project in Moscow, directing and designing a puppet version of Primo Levi’s If This is a Man, performed at the Moscow Art Theater and toured within Russia. During her five years in Russia, Shawna pursued work with theater institutions while completing her MFA in Directing & Movement from the Boris Schukin Theatre Institute of the Vakhtangov Theater in Moscow. She studied with Andrei Droznin, Sergei Zemtsov, and Igor Zolotovitski, covering the history of Russian theater training, including the techniques of Vsevolod Meyerhold, Evgeny Vakhtangov, Konstantin Stanislavski, and Michael Chekhov. At the Schukin Institute, which offers a unique system of training for actors, Shawna studied biomechanics, Stanislavski’s theories of physical action, fencing, rhythmics, directing, and dance.
During her time at the Schukin Institute, she gained access to some of the best theater training in the world. As the only American (and sole foreigner) in a class of Russians, Shawna knows firsthand the mastery of the Russian theater tradition. The foundation of her directing stems from this heritage while incorporating multi-disciplinary traditions of dance, music and puppetry.
Shawna has since worked at the Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, The Gran Teatre del Liceu, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Bolshoi Theater and Schauspiel Hannover. She has assisted esteemed directors, including Stephen Lawless, Lee Blakeley, John Caird, Peter Schumann and Francesca Zambello.
Upcoming directing projects include a new production of Tosca for the San Francisco Opera, Falstaff at Dallas Opera and Pearl Fishers at the Santa Fe Opera.