After acquiring his disability, Brian fled from his freezing home in Minnesota for the warmer climes of New Mexico where he met and worked with Mark Medoff, author of the award-winning Children of a Lesser God. In New Mexico, Brian began to develop and grow as a writer and director with Mark’s and others’ assistance. But the tropics called and after two years in New Mexico, Brian relocated to Hawaii to work on his Master’s degree, focusing on directing. In Hawaii he was exposed to Asian and Polynesian art forms and was invited to collaborate with Professor James R. Brandon on a new Kabuki play. The Road to Tokyo won prizes at the American College Theater Festival and thrilled the mainland audiences that witnessed this uncommon theater form.
Brian directed several plays in Honolulu and continued to write. Brian’s screenplay was a finalist in the Honolulu International Film Festival’s screen writing competition. He typed the 120-page screenplay, in the appropriate format, one letter at the time with a stick in his mouth. Technology has made this unnecessary and he can now use voice-recognition programs with some success.
After Hurricane Iniki devastated Kaua‘i, and while listening to a Jimmy Buffet tune, Brian was inspired to write a play in which a mermaid comes from the sea when she falls in love with a mortal. Jimmy’s Tail won the Honolulu Community Theater playwright competition and delighted audiences.
Despite the degradations of airline travel for persons who use wheelchairs (invariably, any airline Brian flew would lose the batteries to his wheelchair or damage the chair in some way) Brian often returned to Minnesota … during the temperate months. While there, he reunited with an old friend and fellow wheelchair user and together they founded Open Door Theater – a theater by, for, and about persons with disabilities. He wrote many pieces for the company. These efforts culminated in a performance at the prestigious Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and Brian being chosen as a delegate from Minnesota to the International VSA Festival in Brussels.
Brian has been interviewed on television and radio and print stories have been published about him and his endeavors.
Squeaky Wheel Inc
''Homage To Amy''
Amadeus & Brian Shaughnessy
Performing in Honolulu Hawaii
Kumu Kahua Theatre
November 24,25&26, 2013
46 Merchant Street
Honolulu Hawaii 96813