THE FUSION THEATRE PROJECT
AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW WORK
D I R E C T I N G & P R O D U C I N G
S H A W N F I S H E R
Shawn is the Founder and Director of the FUSION THEATRE PROJECT, an experimental theatre company based at Utah State University that creates original theatre with a strong social voice. He serves at times as a Playwright, Director and/or Producer for the company and collaborates with colleagues and students in the leadership of the group.
The company researches and explores issues that affect or are affected by American society, culture, attitudes and practices. Artistically, the group employs a highly collaborative non-traditional process that includes intensive study of the subjects and themes that are addressed along with the deconstruction of the traditional artistic process of theatre.
Each project takes between one and two years to complete.
Recent topics have included the Iraq War; the US/Mexico border conflict; xenophobia; the effect of culture and religion on sexuality and identity; the media, race and violence, family and so forth. The company members help determine the topic for a specific project based on their personal interests and experiences.
The company members are challenged through artistic empowerment and high expectations of personal ownership and leadership. Each member is expected to contribute in two or more areas including writing, performance, design, staging and producing, among others. The company leaders usually consist of two "directors" (although the role is somewhat non-traditional) and an ensemble of performers, writers and designers. Company members are heavily involved in the research and development of story and character.
AWARDS AND HONORS
As a result of the five major projects that have been executed in the past several years, company members have won multiple awards and recognitions for acting, design, writing, management and new play production. Productions have been selected for performances or staged readings in Los Angeles, Off-Broadway in New York, Salt Lake City and for professional performances at Equity companies and festivals. This has provided first opportunities for many students in their professional careers.
The Fusion Theatre Project is an independent organization that has, in the past, been funded to varying degrees by the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, a Diversity Council Grant, a Utah State University Creative Opportunity Grant, The Tanner Symposium, the Caine College of the Arts and Utah State University Department of Theatre.