Wednesday, January 13, 2016


TINA SHEPARD is a founding member of The Talking Band.  In their newest show, BURNISHED BY GRIEF: A ROMANTIC COMEDY, Tina plays Ms. Dishbrush.  When asked to describe her character, Tina said "I wash my dishes  -  you see me thru my kitchen window.I can't tell you any more, 'cause it would give it all away."  

Tina graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1963, bounced around NYC for a few years working as light-board op, lighting designer, actor, mime; by some miraculous good fortune she landed in The Open Theater in the Fall of 1967, working on The Serpent, the company’s first collaboratively developed show. She was a member of The Open Theater until the company disbanded in 1973.

In 1974 she teamed up with fellow Open Theater actors Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow to form The Talking Band, initially dedicated to continuing exploration of the theatrical interplay of image, language and music in which they had been engaged in The Open Theater. She has worked as an actor/collaborator in most of the plays the company has created. In 1988 she was awarded an OBIE for her performance in The Talking Band production The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol.

Shepard was one of a group of actors, designers and musicians who, starting in 1976, joined together with director Joseph Chaikin and dramaturg Mira Rafalowicz for a few months each year for theater explorations. As The Winter Project they created and performed 4 shows at La Mama Annex.

In 1987 The Talking Band collaborated with The Otrabanda Company and director Anne Bogart to create No Plays, No Poetry. . . , a show based on the theoretical texts of Bertolt Brecht which won an OBIE in 1988. Tina continued working with Anne Bogart in several projects, among them American Vaudeville - in which she played both Mae West and Harpo Marx - at the Alley Theater, Houston; and Charles Mee's Orestes, performed at Tadashi Suzuki's theater in Togamura, Japan.

Shepard has also worked extensively with Brian Jucha/Via Theater; Brooke Oharra/Theater of a Two Headed Calf; David Herskovits/Target Margin Theater; John Kurzinowski/Theater Reconstruction Ensemble; and Adam Burnett/Burran Theater She has taught acting, directing, voice & movement for actors at Princeton University, Smith College, and Williams College. She directed eleven productions at Williams, most of them original pieces created in collaboration with her students.

For the past 12 years Tina has been teaching acting and movement (aikido) at Experimental Theater Wing/ NYU. She has directed a production of Poe In April, a script she made from some of Poe’s stories; Plays, a script she made from Gertrude Stein’s essay ‘Plays’ ; Wilde Thing, a script she developed from Oscar Wilde’s essay “The Decay of Lying”; and most recently, a production of The Serpent, originally created and toured in 1968 by the Open Theater ensemble.

She holds the rank of Rokudan (6th degree Black Belt) in aikido.

Come see Tina Shepard in BURNISHED BY GRIEF: A ROMANTIC COMEDY at The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa, beginning performances on January 22, 2016. 

La MaMa presents



Written and Composed by Ellen Maddow 
Directed by Paul Zimet 

A love letter to the chaos of cramped New York City living. This music-fused, sinister romantic comedy is inspired by Obie award-winning playwright Ellen Maddow’s work as a mediator in Brooklyn Civil Court, where she has witnessed how the city’s extraordinary diversity, combined with close living, has produced complex misunderstandings and remarkable relationships. 

January 22 - February 7, 2016

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors - 2 and 4-Show packages available for January shows at La MaMa

The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

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