"Creates the intense atmosphere of an unstable world with grace and a sort of lyric power.”
National Public Radio
Germaine Shames, recipient of Arizona’s Fellowship in Fiction, is author of the award-winning novels, Between Two Deserts and You, Fascinating You. Writing under the pen name Casper Silk (Hotel Noir, Echo Year), she has been compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Graham Greene and P.D. James “on steroids”.
A returning playwright, Shames majored in Theatre as an under-graduate. Following a successful career as a novelist and journalist, she wrote her first suite of short plays, Wars of the Flesh, which was voted into Tucson’s 2014 New Play Festival. Numerous other readings and productions followed in rapid succession. In 2017, the playwright celebrated the New York City premiere of her musical comedy, Anna Karenina Lives! and the selection of her drama-thriller, The Degenerates, for Williams Street Rep’s LAB New Play Series, and in 2018 the Chicago production of her musical (with composer Nadav Amir-Himmel), "The Manifesto," at City Lit. Shames' bio-drama, The Higher Love, winner of three national workshop competitions, will premiere in Phoenix as part of Now and Then Creative Company's 2020 season. Her new musicals, If the Spirit Moves and Naked, will premiere at Theatre Elision in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and her opera, Last American Dream, at the University of Costa Rica later this year.
IIn addition to her original plays, Shames has made a mission of adapting and re-imagining classic 19th and early 20th-century novels for the stage with an emphasis on works either by women or with strong women’s roles and relationships. Her D.H. Lawrence adaptation, The Virgin and the Gypsy, formed part of the 2018 Festival of New American Theatre at Phoenix Theatre and is currently a finalist in the Liz Smith Reading Series. A second Lawrence adaptation. The Lost Girl, won Starlight Theater’s 2019 Playwriting Contest. Her Emile Zola re-imagining of The Masterpiece was recently a finalist for the Trustus Playwright Award. To date, the playwright has also adapted multiple works by Edith Wharton, Aldous Huxley and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Katherine Monberg, Literary Manager of Arizona Theatre Company (LORT-B), Arizona's state theatre, has written of Shames, "Germaine is a playwright of both depth and innovation, able to craft layered and complex characters amidst dramatic structures that both celebrate and defy traditional literary approaches. One of the most compelling things about Germaine and her writing is her ability to give voice to the important conversations of our contemporary world in a unique yet accessible context, embracing and exploring the intangible, compelling spark that makes stories and characters come alive."
As a librettist and lyricist, Shames writes with award-winning composers in musical theatre, opera, choral and popular music.
Shames holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Studies. Her writing reflects the breadth of her worldview and fascination with the interplay of cultures, often drawing on events and settings from her sojourns abroad.
Her work has earned her residencies at the Fundacion Valparaiso, Wildacres Retreat and Yellow Bird Artscape, three professional development grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and a scholarship to the Writers Center at the University of Arizona. She is proud to mentor teen playwrights at her state theatre.
"To edit Germaine Shames, though she doesn't need it, is a singular privelege."
"Shames is a creator of both subtlety and of impact, leaving lasting impressions through an
unwavering commitment to the voice and vision of her characters."
Katherine Monberg, Arizona Theatre Company
- ROCK DREAM
- DAYS OF ALL ALONE
- CHILDREN IN BARE FEET
- A BETTER WOMAN