Shanan Custer is an actor, improviser, writer, director and educator based in the Twin Cities. She is a veteran of the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, where she performed from the reign of Jesse Ventura to the Bush and Kerry election. More recently, Shanan directed the hit production of Steve Martin’s The Underpants at Theatre in the Round in Minneapolis and appeared as Emilie in Theatre Pro Rata’s Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight. Shanan’s original play 2 Sugars, Room for Cream (co-written with Carolyn Pool) with Hennepin Theatre Trust was honored with an Ivey Award for Ensemble Acting in 2013. Other credits: Joking Envelope’s Nightmare Without Pants, Frank Theater’s Standing on Ceremony, Shadowplay Theatre (I Hate Hamlet), Theater Mu (Four Destinies), the History Theater (Dudley: Rigged for Laughter) and Park Square Theatre (Dead Man’s Cell Phone). Shanan is also in the
cast of Eric Webster’s Shades Brigade radio series and Mrdr She Tweeted with The Mystery Cafe. Her original show (co-written with Jim Robinson) Mick Sterling Presents At Christmas will perform throat Chanhassen Dinner Theatre this holiday season: www.atchristmaslive.com. Shanan also improvises with the Theater of Public Policy: www.t2p2.net. She hosted the Ivey Awards, which honors theater in the Twin Cities both in 2012 and 2013.
Shanan’s original work includes: 2 Sugars, Room for Cream, Mary Loves Joseph: A Wonderful Love Story, Pride and Plot of Pointlessness (co-writer), Mick Sterling Presents: At Xmas, From Here to Maternity (2007 Fringe Festival Top Ten Show), Johnny Bocca’s Sex Farce for Swingin’ Lovers (both with Joshua English Scrimshaw), and London After Midnight [Episodes 1-5] (co- writer). Shanan also writes and directs at the Science Museum of Minnesota (Splish-Splash & Jax and the Big Data Beanstalk director and Lost in Science, writer) and was a writer on the educational sketch comedy series “M@dAbout,” with National Theater for Children in Minneapolis.
Shanan teaches at St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas as well as the Guthrie Theater and History Theater as a Teaching Artist for their improvisation, writing and acting programs for both children and adults. As a trainer and facilitator, Shanan has worked with such companies as Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Minnesota, Thomson Reuters, Out of the Blue, StoryStick Marketing, University of St. Thomas, St. Catherine University (Admissions and Assistant Mentorship Program), SHIFT Minnesota, BUSHConnect, and Charles Schwab. Shanan specializes in presentation skills as well as improvisation and earns consistent praise for creating a curriculum and classroom environment that is flexible, hands-on and comfortable for her clients. With Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN Shanan has trained countless employees on Delivering Effective Presentations and has facilitated effective communication styles at both the Active Living MN and ALFA Learning Meetings. She currently serves as a trainer with the Expand Your Expertise Program at BCBS. Shanan has improvised and trained with Charles Schwab this past spring during their Chairman’s Club week and again this November in Denver, CO. Shanan has a B.A. in Theater and Speech Communications from St. Catherine University and an M.A. in Theater History, Theory and Criticism from the University of Maryland, College Park.