Shannan Steele in the DCPA’s 2014 ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.
MEET SHANNAN STEELE
Ensemble, Fred’s Wife in A Christmas Carol
At the DCPA Theatre Company: Animal Crackers (understudy), and A Christmas Carol (ensemble). At the Garner-Galleria Theater: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Woman No. 1, Henry Award nomination), The Last 5 Years, and My Way. At the Arvada Center: More than 20 productions, including The 1940s Radio Hour (Ginger Brooks, Henry Award nomination), Tarzan the Stage Musical (Kala, True West Award), Cabaret, Les Miserables, Violet, and Memphis. At Cherry Creek Theater: Baby (Pam, True West Award nomination). At Theaterworks: Church.
- Hometown: Laramie, Wyo.
- College: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Master of Science in Physical Therapy (both from Regis University)
- What was the role that changed your life? “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” here at the Denver Center, in the Galleria Theater, which I performed in from spring of 2002 until fall of 2004. It changed me as an actor, because I believe it was during this production that I actually became an actor (despite plenty of acting gigs prior). Having the privilege of playing a role over a long amount of time helped to develop my skills in a way I didn’t anticipate. I had the immense support of an incredible director (Ray Roderick), a cast with vast amounts of talent that exceeded my own and content that challenged me on every level. I always feel it was my launching pad into being an actor – or at least truly desiring to be a good one.
- Why are you an actor? World peace. Yep, that’s it … world peace. Somehow, I find attempting to tell human stories gives permission to my fellow humans to embrace their own humanity, to find compassion for the humanity of others, to reach more deeply for truer connections and a more forgiving sense of self. Wow … If that worked like my idealistic mind wants it to, maybe we really would have world peace.
- What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t an actor?
I already have the gift of a career outside of acting, as I am also a physical therapist. And I love it. I love the one-on-one connection of meeting someone in a time of need – typically a time of pain, and finding a way to help. Sometimes my patients need an ear more than they need three sets of 10 repetitions of a certain exercise. Either way, I have found great satisfaction in embracing the mystery of the physical body and my attempt to help people regain strength and balance within it.
- Ideal scene partner: Kevin Spacey. He is brilliant no matter what he does. I would be trembling in awe and humility and an inferiority complex too massive to describe. But I would attempt to sponge every bit of his brilliance and learn everything I could.
- Why does this play matter? Easy. … A Christmas Carol is about human transformation. We all need to be transformed from time to time, and this is a story so profound it impacts the surrounding community, family and, most important, the soul.
- What do you hope the audience gets out of it? I hope the audience sees the need for their own transformation, or at least the windows of opportunity available to them (and us all) to find the gentle, the tender, the love that lives in each of us. To “keep Christmas well” … means so much more than the holiday, or the religion, for me. It means keeping ourselves, our loved ones, our purpose to simply love. To keep all of that “well” would be a life well-lived.
- Finish this sentence: All I want is … “LOVE!”
A Christmas Carol: Ticket information
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Richard Hellesen
Music by David de Berry
Nov 27-Dec 27 (Opens Dec. 4) | Stage Theatre
Call 303-893-4100 or
Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol:
First rehearsal: Scrooge, in typical fashion: Let’s get to work!
From Denver Center’s Tiny Tim to TV’s Fuller House
Beginnings and endings for stars of A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries
Video: Leslie O’Carroll performs A Christmas O’Carroll … in 5 minutes
Actor Scott McLean is now also a published children’s author
Video: The Christmas Carol Coast to Coast Challenge. No. 1: Denver
By the numbers: A Christmas Carol over 22 years at the DCPA
First day of 2014 rehearsal: Interviews, cast list and photos
Previous 2015 ‘Meet the Cast’ profiles:
Meet Courtney Capek (Belle)
Previous years’ ‘Meet the Cast’ videos:
James Michael Reilly
Mehry Iris Eslaminia
M. Scott McLean