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Chrissie Shaw: Bio

Chrissie Shaw is a performing artist presently based in Canberra. Her work encompasses theatre and music, choral direction, writing and producing new shows. Her most recent show is BIJOU A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION, which had a sell-out season at The Street Theatre in Canberra in August/September 2013. Chrissie received the 2013 Green Room Award, and ACT critics Circle Award for BIJOU. This show has had further performances in Canberra, regional NSW and at The Riverside Theatres in Parramatta NSW, and will return to The Street Theatre in September 2015 for a short return season.  Previous shows include THE KEEPER: A GOTHIC TALE OF LIGHT AND DARK, and GRAN’S BAG, a show for little children, still touring and being performed in schools and theatres.

Her performing career began in her home town of Sydney at the tender age of eight with a double role as a Cornish Piskie, and a Party Guest in a Pantomime: CINDERELLA WAS A PRINCESS at the Theatre Royal, starring Leonard Teale as Prince Charming. He was her hero. In her 20s, while at Uni, she sang haunting folk songs with an antique French guitar, and spent some time at Sydney’s New Theatre. Here she acted in several plays for children as well as ON STAGE VIETNAM, a long-running revue about the Vietnam War and its origins; very topical at the time.

She began her professional theatre career touring around Australia with Pipi Storm Theatre-In-Education Company in the mid 1970s doing group-devised shows and workshops for children. She also performed in a number of shows for grown-ups as well. She visited Canberra with several of these productions, and stayed from 1987. In Canberra she worked for TAU Theatre (acting/musical directing eight productions, and promotion), Canberra Theatre Company, Women On A Shoestring (5 productions), Jigsaw Theatre Company (4 productions), CIA/Stopera, and The Street Theatre. Chrissie has produced independent shows including ABOUT FACE, A SWEETER FERN - THAT’S RED!, FOOTPRINTS ON THE WIND, DRUMMING ON WATER which premiered and toured in 2006/7, and THE KEEPER: A GOTHIC TALE OF LIGHT AND DARK, premiering in Canberra in 2008, touring to Melbourne and the Southern Tablelands of NSW in 2009.

Her latest Independent production for a general audience is BIJOU A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION, a play in cabaret form, premiering with a sell-out season at The Street Theatre Canberra in Aug/Sept 2013. She revisited Jigsaw Theatre’s FLOTSAM AND JETSAM (a show about lighthouse children) in 2007 touring to schools in Adelaide and country SA. In 2008, with writer and director Greg Lissaman, Chrissie produced GRAN’S BAG, a new show for little children. This premiered at the State Library of Queensland for their September school holiday program. GRAN’S BAG had a season at The Street Theatre Canberra in July 2009,  at the Parramatta Riverside Theatres and Glen Street Theatre in 2009, returned to Riverside in 2013, after a season at Darling Harbour, for Monkey Baa Theatre Company in January 2013. Latest season was in 2016 at The King Street Theatre, Newtown, Sydney.

Chrissie has been musical director of several community choirs; currently, The Heart and Souls Singers in Tuggeranong ACT, and the Canberra Hospital Foundation Choir. Chrissie is a founding member of A BUNCH OF POSERS, a Corporate and Events entertainment troupe, now evolved to a musical duo of violin (Graeme Adler) and accordion (Chrissie). Chrissie won the 1998 ACT MEAA Green Room award, was short-listed for the 1998 Australian Centre For Cultural Studies Award and won the 2001 Edna Ryan Arts Award. She was also a finalist in the ACT Senior Australian of the Year in 2005. DRUMMING ON WATER was given the 2006 Critics’ Circle Award for production. Chrissie has performed in training videos for Government departments as well as independent films. In 2012 Chrissie received another Critics' Circle Award for her work in Lawrie and Shirley by Geoff Page, premiering at The Street Theatre, Canberra in 2011.

2013 brought the premiere of a new show: BIJOU - A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION, an alternate cabaret-theatre piece, which tells the story of Madame Bijou. The show takes place in a Paris Bar in 1933, a year after the Hungarian photographer Brassai has taken 3 photos of Bijou at the Bar de la Lune in Montmartre. The show premiered at The Street theatre in August, sold out...and should have extended the season, but this was not possible. Chrissie won two awards for this show, the ACT MEAA Green Room Award for 2013, and a Critics Circle Award. This show has had a return season at the Street Theatre, toured 14 towns in NSW. in 2015. In 2016 BIJOU had two seasons in Melbourne (La Mama and The Butterfly Club) and a season at the Depot Theatre Sydney. Critical acclaim for all seasons.

Musical instruments: Piano Accordion, piano, guitar ukulele, recorder, clarinet. Vocals.

Chrissie has one daughter, Kim, who is a journalist in Sydney.


THE DRESSES and THE NOT TOO LATE SHOW both toured in Sydney and interstate in 1983 and 1986/7. For VITALSTATISTIX (SA): TRIP TO THE LIGHT FANTASTIC ROSE ABOVE THE ODDS For WOMEN ON A SHOESTRING (ACT and all shows touring): OVER THE HILL EMPTY SUITCASES AT THE CROSSROADS THE SLIPPERY SLOPE GIRLS OF THE REEL (musical director and composer) For THE STREET THEATRE (ACT): EMMA-CELEBRAZIONE VIOLINE MISTERO BUFFO For SOCIAL DIVISION (ACT); DEAD CAUCASIANS (touring Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide), For CIA/STOPERA (ACT): THREEPENNY OPERA For JIGSAW THEATRE (ACT and all shows touring) FOUR SPEED BLENDERS THE MAN WHOSE MOTHER WAS A PIRATE ARBORIO FLOTSAM & JETSAM Independent shows (ACT and touring) ABOUT FACE FOOTPRINTS ON THE WIND A SWEETER FERN - THAT’S RED! Currently in repertoire: GRAN’S BAG by Greg Lissaman and Chrissie Shaw, a show for little children, premiering in QLD in 2008 with many tours and seasons under its belt, ready to tour in 2014 and 2015. FLOTSAM AND JETSAM by Greg Lissaman. A new independent production directed by Catherine Roach, sets by Hilary Talbot, costumes by Victoria Worley. Puppet by Imogen Keen. Toured in Victoria and schools in the ACT, SA and Victoria.  BIJOU A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION written and performed by Chrissie Shaw with Alan Hicks as pianist. Premiered in 2013 to full houses all the way, and has been touring since: visits to Belconnen Arts Centre, ACT, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, and Bundanoon Memorial Hall in 2014, and two regional tours in NSW in 2015, as well as a return season September 2015 at The Street Theatre ACT. Award-winning show: ACT MEAA Green Room Award 2013, ACT Critics Circle Award 2013.