Showcasing the Arts

Featured Artist:
Shannon Woolley Allison


Octavia Sexton
Shannon Woolley Allison says she hopes to empower
and amplify the voices of her students, by validating
and lifting up their own life experiences.
Shannon Woolley Allison is a proud Kentuckian who, despite stints working, performing and teaching in Chicago, Denver and New York City, always knew that she would return to her hometown of Louisville as her artistic base.

Born in Louisville, Shannon studied drama and movement from a young age, and attended the Youth Performing Arts School as a theatre major before earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at Southern Methodist University, and a master’s degree in educational theatre at New York University. In 2001, Shannon cofounded Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, and serves as co-artistic director to this day. Looking for Lilith is an ensemble theatre company that creates original productions and programming by examining history and today from underrepresented perspectives, particularly the perspectives of women.

Shannon performs, directs and teaches for Looking for Lilith, as well as serving as a teaching artist for the Kentucky Arts Council, StageOne Family Theatre and various other companies. Some of her favorite experiences have been her one-woman show, “Women Speak: IRAQ,” directed by Kelly McNerney; “Prevailing Winds,” an original devised piece about Louisville's Rubbertown; and her ongoing work in Kentuckiana classrooms using drama to explore topics such as the 1937 Louisville flood, the Underground Railroad and issues of peer pressure and discrimination. She is a board member of Fund for the Arts and the Arts and Cultural Alliance, and a member of Alternate ROOTS, the Network of Ensemble Theaters, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the Louisville Theatre Community.

Artist’s statement:

Throughout my studies and training I have focused on Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed work, Story Circle Methodology as developed by Roadside Theater and The Free Southern Theater, and applied theatre techniques that utilize the skills, activities, vocabulary and culture of theatre work to address social concerns, stimulate conversation and inspire action.

As a teaching artist, I believe that it is my work to empower and amplify the voices of my students by validating and lifting up their own life experiences, and providing them with the tools, guidance and courage to use those experiences as the foundation of their performances. In so doing, I believe that my theatre work in the classroom can be a tool for countering supremacy cultures in our society, as students hear, understand and respect the experiences of their fellow classmates and artists.


Shannon Woolley Allison
Louisville, Ky.

Phone: 347-439-8884


Page last updated: Jan. 6, 2021
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