Leo Shapiro was a New York-based experimental theater director, educator, and a long-time artist-in-residence at La Mama.
” Americans quite desperately need some place to gather around the fire and tell each other stories and their dreams…. Theater is meant to be a place where you act out your dreams and fantasies – a function TV is not doing. The emphasis has to be on your relation to the audience as a culture, not as a product. The students have grown up thinking of themselves as consumers. I try to get them off that model”.
Shapiro is artistic director of The Shaliko Company, based at La Mama, and directed all of their productions there and at The Public Theater. His original music theater play, The Yellow House, was invited to the Theatre of Nations Festival and Punch!, a physical theater piece, played the Assembly Rooms at The Edinburgh Festival, Scotland.
Shapiro was director-in-residence at Trinity during 1983-84. He has taught in programs at New York University’s School of the Arts Professional Theater Training Program, American University, Antioch College, the Baltimore Theater Project, Quebec International Theater Fortnight and NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing.