Brian Shaw - Columbia College Chicago

Brian Shaw



Brian Shaw is a Professor in the Theatre Department and teaches acting, on-camera, community arts practice and theater history.

His work as a performer spans theater, dance, film and commercial work. As a founding member of the physical theater company Plasticene, he performed original work for 17 years. Brian has worked with numerous Chicago theaters and off-Broadway in The Strangerer by Mickle Maher. He played Clov in Endgame for The Hypocrites, Jim Lehrer in Jim Lehrer and the Theater and Its Double and Jim Lehrer’s Double for Theater Oobleck, and Frau Fraulein in Frankenstriesand for Hell in a Handbag. He has worked with choreographers Erica Mott, Carrie Hanson, Jan Erkert, Julia Rhoads and Nana Shineflug. He has appeared in Widows, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Boss and Detroit 1-8-7, as well as numerous independent films and commercials.

His work as a director includes SPACEFefu and Her Friends, In Pigeon House, Don Juan Comes Back from the War, Woyzeck, Dracula and Sarita. He directed the short film Four Monologues about Russian poets in the Stalinist period, written by Aram Saroyan. His most recent directing work is the short film The Greeting, which can be seen at the Festival au Cinema. He directed performance sequences for the large-scale events Wonder and Illumination.

He facilitates international exchange programs for Theatre students with schools in the UK, Ireland, Chile and Korea.  Brian was Executive Director of the podcast Growing Voices that offers an audio documentary of the creativity and collaboration of youth and teaching artists. New episodes of Growing Voices are currently in the works. Brian also produced the podcast Sable, which is an epic poem in the voice of Phillis Wheatley, written by Allan Johnston. 

Brian has a BA in Acting from Columbia College and an MA from the School for New Learning at DePaul University.

Instructional Areas

Acting, Community Arts Practice, Theater Research

Creative Practice and Research Interests

Interdisciplinary Pedagogy & Projects. Acting and Directing for theater and in the on-camera environment. Teaching Artistry. Community and International Artistic and Educational Partnership.


B.A., Theater / Music Columbia College Chicago 1986
M.A., Applied Performance Studies DePaul University 1997