Photo by Becca McCoy

Sheila Cowley is a playwright whose work continues to embrace other artforms, creating theatre that celebrates voice, movement, sound, visual art and circus artistry. It’s theatre that asks big questions – about gender roles and family, and tiny daily acts of heroism.

For the Mask and movement drama, Trio, she collaborated with dance and commedia artists and the University of South Florida.

For Meridian, Greek myths and warfare sprout among questions of gardening and circus magic, with musicians creating an interactive score.

The Burlesque Astronomy Play matches cutting-edge science with a painter’s explorations, and a scientist experimenting with her own femininity.

While Flying uses storytelling  to venture into the aftermath of WWII, when women who flew military planes so men could go and fight, were sent home to get back to normal.

An award-winning audio producer, Sheila produced and edited the popular improvised series, Offramp and is currently producing Arts In for Creative Pinellas, and audio tours for the Salvador Dali Museum.

Bikini Atoll Bombshell

Bikini Atoll Bombshell

Sheila’s plays have been developed in Chicago at Chicago Dramatists and The Equity Library Theatre, in New York with Athena Theatre and Reverie Productions, in London through American Actors UK and in Florida at American Stage, The Gorilla Theatre, Stageworks and the University of South Florida. There have been productions of her work from New York to Texas and Ohio, Illinois, California and South Korea. 

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“As a radio producer, my work is rooted in the rhythms of spontaneous conversation. As a student of clowning, physical gesture and movement are as much a part of dialogue as words. Both methods of communicating inform the sound and spectacle of the pieces I create.

“In my work as a playwright, I use the music and hesitations of natural conversation and the counterpoint of unspoken reactions to give life to stories that live best onstage, where truth and metaphor reflect each other and ignite.”