Director Avital Shira's work focuses on building and empowering communities through sharing stories.
Avital is particularly drawn to language-rich, ensemble driven work that encourages us to embrace the cultural traditions that preceded us, while crafting art that speaks to the here and now.
Recent directing projects include the development of THE HONEY OF HIS MUSIC VOWS (Coho Lab) and WHAT IS LEFT, a new piece written by British poet Joel Kelly; staged readings for the Athena Project in Denver and for Corrib Theatre and Jewish Theatre Collaborative in Portland, Oregon; and productions including LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST (Post5), a site-specific production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the New York premiere of PHANTOMWISE (NYC Fringe), and TWELFTH NIGHT (Portland Actors Ensemble). Avital is also a founding company member of Sycamore Theatre Co.
A community organizer and political activist, Avital also works for the Markle Foundation's Skillful initiative, supporting people without college degrees in finding sustainable employment. In addition to leading strategy and implementation of Skillful's community and job seeker engagement in Colorado, Avital uses her directing skill to capture Skillful's story through films like this one.
Avital holds has a degree in Theatre Studies and English literature from Yale University, where she was awarded the James S. Metcalfe Prize for theatre and the Branford Arts Prize.
Avital is an associate member of the SDC and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. She was named Best Director at the 2012 Portland Outdoor Shakespeare Festival for her production of Twelfth Night.