Shirley Jo Finney (Director) is an award-winning international director of theatre, television, and film, as well as an accomplished actress. She has worn her director’s hat in some of the most respected regional theater houses across the country including The McCarter Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Goodman Theatre, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Cleveland Playhouse, the Fountain Theatre, L.A. Theatre Works, the Crossroads Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, the Sundance Theatre Workshop, The Mark Taper Forum, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the State Theatre in Pretoria, South Africa.
Most recently, Miss Finney directed and developed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Citizen: An American Lyric, by the award-winning PEN poet Claudia Rankin. Other recent works include: Facing Our Truth: The Trayvon Martin Project at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Lark Foundations’ rolling world premiere of The Road Weeps, by Marcus Gardley, at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays, Lisa B. Thompson’s Single Black Female at Crossroads Theatre Company, and Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ‘67 at the Penumbra Theatre. She also helmed the international all South African Opera Winnie, based on the life of political icon Winnie Mandela.
Miss Finney is the recipient of many prestigious awards such as SDCF’s 2017 Denham Fellowship for her production of Runaway Home by Jeremy Kamp, LA Stage Alliance’s Ovation Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, the LA Weekly Award, the NAACP, the Santa Barbara Independent Award, and the UCLA Department of Stage, Film and Television Distinguished Alumni Award.