Shawn Morgenlander (she/her) is a career wordsmith who pursues her enduring interest in language through various channels, including acting, writing, translating, and interpreting. She is passionate about mixing the old and the new in all her creative endeavors, from performing genre-bending song covers to challenging gender roles in social dance to re-imagining verse plays from centuries ago.
Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Shawn studied theater and Spanish at Northwestern University, then furthered her creative education and experience in Chicago and NC. She has performed in touring repertory across the USA with the National Players and in New York with the Adirondack Shakespeare Company. North Carolina credits include Romeo in the The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet (American Myth Center, Asheville), Wendy in Peter Pan and Wendy (Burning Coal Theatre, Raleigh), and Mordred in Camelot (Burning Coal Theatre). Also in NC, she sang with veteran musician, journalist, and music scholar Tommy Goldsmith in the folk-cabaret duo Stichomythia. Shawn dances both roles of Argentine tango and has most recently leveled up in Speech (voiceover), Two-Handed (SAFD Broadsword), and Archery (barebow).
Shawn costarred in Whistle Down Wind, a short film by Julia Christgau and Andie Morgenlander, and co-wrote the short film Glimmer.
Shawn's original translation and adaptation of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's La vida es sueño, entitled Life is But a Dream, was produced in Spicy Witch Productions' 2018 "Dream Season" repertory at the Clemente in NYC. Throughout 2021, alongside actor, playwright, and designer Greer DuBois, she developed LOVEDAY, a two-person version of Shakespeare's Henry VI saga, which premiered under the auspices of the American Myth Center and was performed at found spaces in various states. For Shawn's full resume and clips of her work, click here.
Praise for Life is But a Dream
"Morgenlander has added her own humor and sense of whimsy to Calderón’s story, with delightful results. Life is But a Dream is all at once dramatic, playful, and spellbinding while maintaining Calderón’s poetic language."
Sarah Weber, Theatre is Easy
"Shawn Morgenlander's translation is edgy, full of life, in iambic pentameter and full color."
Ed Malin, Theatre in the Now
"Fluid, witty, philosophical and touching"
Jim Jim Jim, Show Score
Shawn is always on the lookout for her next collaborative art adventure. Contact her here.