Lanise Antoine Shelley (She/her/hers) was last seen acting in Goodman Theatre's School Girls; Or, African Mean Girls as Eloise. Lanise recently directed a virtual reading of her new play Pretended, as the inaugural play in Paramount Theatre's Inception Project. In the age of the pandemic, she has directed The Tragedy of King Christophe, adapted The Snow Queen, directed virtual plays: Manakin Blue,  Luck of the Irish, an audio adaptation of Rastas and Hattie with 16th St. Theatre, associate produced indie horror film Fresh Hell, and Rites of Spring with Rising Sun Performance Company. Further directing credits include assisting David Schwimmer in the world premiere of Plantation at Lookingglass Theatre, Silent Theatre Company, Voices and Faces, Akvavit Theatre, and DePaul University.


As an actor, Lanise has appeared in Danai Gurira's Familiar at Steppenwolf Theatre (Jeff nominated for best ensemble), and tv shows Empire, Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med; Other acting credits include Katherine in Bob Falls' production of An Enemy of the People at Goodman Theatre and work with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theater, Book-It Repertory Theater, Kansas City Rep, Seattle Repertory Theater, Outside the Wire, Backroom Shakespeare and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.


Favorite productions during her five years as resident company member at Milwaukee Repertory Theater include EurydiceThe Glass MenagerieGem of the OceanKing LearSueno, …Young Lady from Rwanda, and The Crucible


International Theatre: Macbeth, Aenied, and All My Sons at (Stratford Shakespeare Festival) and Nutcracker Turbo (Moscow Art Theatre). 


TV/Film: Fresh Hell (Indie Film), Empire (FOX), Chicago Fire (NBC), Chicago Med (NBC), Discovery World, Stop.Reset., The Inner Room (Short Film) , Stratford HD.


Training: MFA from ART/MXAT at Harvard University; BFA from Cornish College of the Arts; certificate in classical theatre from BADA in Oxford, England; certificate in classical theatre from Birmingham Conservatory in Canada. Chicago Fellow for Stratford Shakespeare Festival 2016, Directing Fellow for Victory Gardens Theater 2019, Drama League Classical Theatre Fellow 2021.



Nominated Best Actress for For Fresh Hell, Haunted Garage Film Festival 2021

Jeff Nominated best ensemble for Familiar 

BTAA Nomination for Best Leading Actress 

AEA & SAG/AFTRA member

"When I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision, it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."

- Audre Lorde

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