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Monique D. Shaw
Copyright © 2009 - 2016. Monique Shaw Productions. All rights reserved.
Monique has been interested in the arts since she was a small child. Born in Aurora, IL, Monique moved to Tulsa, OK while in elementary school and lived there most of her life. She has loved music since she was a toddler! From singing in her church choir and in various groups, to playing the flute and alto sax in her high school marching and jazz bands, music has been and still is a big part of Monique's life. Between 1989 to 1994, Monique worked on solo projects and performed as a feature artist with various R&B groups in Tulsa. From 1990 to 1994 while in college, Monique directed and produced various shows and programs including The Fall Fashion Extravaganza, a fashion show and talent showcase. In 1998, she founded and sang with The Shades of Harmony, a gospel singing sensation that performed at various churches, showcases and festivals from 1998 to 2001.
After deciding to hang up her microphone, Monique left The Shades of Harmony and turned her focus from performing to writing. Her interest in playwriting formed in 1999 when she decided to write her first play. In 2000, she finished Will A Real Man Please Stand! From 2000 to 2008, Monique took a break from entertainment to focus on her family and career. In 2002, she left Tulsa and relocated to Atlanta. In 2008, she formed her own production company, Monique Shaw Productions (MSP), to produce original plays and other theatrical events.
Since forming MSP, Monique has successfully produced 13 performances of the inspirational comedy-drama Will A Real Man Please Stand! In March 2009, Real Man debuted in Atlanta, GA with three sold-out performances and was then performed again in June 2009 at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, GA to over 350 adoring patrons. Fans could not get enough of Real Man, so Monique produced another run in July 2010 in Atlanta and a final show in September 2011 in Norcross.
Her supporters and fans anxiously awaited her second stage production, The Secrets We Keep, which debuted in February 2011 with five performances at the Lionheart Theatre in Norcross, GA. It is with this production that Monique made her directorial debut. Secrets competed in March 2011 in the JBStar Play-Fest (Marietta, GA) and won several awards and nominations, including “Best Director” and “Best Producer.” This award-winning production returned to Atlanta in August 2013, with eight stellar performances at the West End Performing Arts Center. Secrets was showcased at the Southwest Arts Center Performance Theater & Gallery in November 2014, Temple of Faith Ministries in Decatur, GA in December 2014, and at Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, AL in February 2015, for a total of 21 performances.
Monique produced a staged reading of her third stage production, It’s Just Business in September 2014 in Douglasville, GA and gave audiences a glimpse of the scandals that go on behind closed doors in the corporate world. Most recently, Monique finished writing her fourth production, Things We Didn’t Tell, which is also her first drama. She produced a staged reading of this production in October 2014 and left audiences on the edge of their seats and anticipating the show’s debut. This production is scheduled to premiere in 2017.
Monique is currently working on several new projects including her first feature-film The Secrets We Keep, which is based on the play. She has also teamed up with another writer to collaborate on a new play entitled Dear Daddy. You can find Monique on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Visit moniqueshawproductions.com to check out her latest productions.
"There are two types of people: those who LET things happen, and those who MAKE things happen. Let's MAKE it happen!" -- Monique D. Shaw
Want to know more about Monique?
Check out our Getting To Know Monique page and read archived Interviews and articles.
I’m actually kind of shy. Most people don’t believe this about me, but it’s true. Over the years, I’ve learned to be more sociable, but I’m really a loner.
I love to bake! It’s a way for me to relax and relieve stress. I bake cookies, pies and cakes, all from scratch. The next thing I want to master is making great dinner rolls
Purple is my favorite color. I absolutely love it and wear it almost every day. It may be jewelry, underwear, or socks, but you can usually find me in purple.
I am a music lover! Anytime I hear music, I want to dance. R&B, gospel, old school, hip hop, pop, jazz and blues are my favorites. Joe is one of my favorites!
Foods that you’d normally pick up with your fingers, I use a fork. When I eat chili dogs and pizza, I’ll use a fork. I don’t like to get my fingers messy!
I tried the “Cinnamon Challenge.” Yes, I know...what was I thinking?
I’m the favorite aunt! Kids seem to love me. I guess it’s my calm nature and I always try to encourage them. I like to make them feel special.
I love ice cream. I never get tired of it. Of course I can’t eat it every day, but I would if I could get away with it.
I’m pretty frugal. I love to shop for bargains and get great deals on nice things. Going to auctions is one of my favorite things to do. It’s the hunt for the treasure and the win!
I laugh a lot. Laughter is good for the soul.
It’s been awhile since your first interview in 2009. What’s been going on since the last time we spoke?
Wow...where do I start! We’ve completed several runs of “Real Man.” I think by the time we finish our latest run, we will have completed 16 shows of that production. I also opened a new production, The Secrets We Keep, in February 2011 and we did five shows that weekend. We entered Secrets in a play festival here in the Atlanta area where we competed against other productions and did very well.
Did you win anything?
Yes we did! We were nominated in just about every category and won just about all of them. We even took home two of the four largest awards, Best Director and Best Producer.
You must be pretty proud of that. How did that make you feel?
It made me proud, especially of my cast and crew. They worked hard and did a great job. It inspires me to continue to work hard and produce more shows.
What are you focusing on right now?
Well, I’m always working on something (laughs). We’re in production for The Secrets We Keep, which opened in Atlanta in August 2013. We’re also in the process of raising funds and getting sponsorship for a tour. I wrote the screenplay for my second play The Secrets We Keep (The Movie) and I’d like to film it this year. I wrote my third play, It’s Just Business, last year and I’m planning to produce it in 2013. I’m working on the sequel to Real Man called Happily Ever After and hope to finish it before the end of the year and produce it in 2014. I’ve been working on a project called My Sisters for some time. I’m not sure if I want that to be a TV series, a novel, a movie or what. I just think it’s a great story and will do something with it. Who knows, it may become all of the above (laughs)! Lastly, I’m just about finished with my latest play, Things We Didn’t Tell. It will premier in 2014. I’m really excited about this project! It’s going to be something different from me, but you can still expect a positive message and inspiring story.
Where do your stories come from?
Most of my stories come from my vivid imagination. I’m always thinking and when I sit down to write, the stories just come to me. Sometimes they come through my dreams. Occasionally, I write about things that I’ve experienced or something someone I know has experienced. I’m always coming up with something (laughs)!
How did you get your start?
I used to attend a lot of plays when I was younger. I’ve always loved theatre, but some of the shows I saw left me thinking, “Wow, I bet I could write something better than that.” No offense to anyone’s work, but many of the storylines were predictable, the characters were stereotypical, and it was like I was seeing the same type of show over and over. A mediocre storyline, average acting, covered up with great singing. So one day, I decided to research the process of writing and producing a play and about two months later, came up with the draft of my first play. Theatre and drama was not something I studied in high school or college, but I’ve always been a good writer and a creative person. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t know anything about producing a show (laughs). I learned as I went along, but I am pretty resourceful, don’t give up easily and will figure out how to do whatever it is I’m trying to do. I also prayed that God would send me the right people I needed to make it happen, and He did. Without Him, a great team, and the talent He’s given me, I don’t think I would have been able to do it.
What would some people be surprised to know about you?
I sometimes come across as serious, focused and all about business, but I can be really silly and pretty witty at times! I love to laugh and have fun.
Besides writing, what else do you like to do?
I love baking, bargain shopping and reading. Baking is a stress reliever for me, so my friends and family love it when I’m stressed out because they know I’m going to bake something great!
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about my family, love, making a difference, helping others, and the arts of course.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Witty, ambitious, and responsible.
Tell me about the best part of your work.
The best part is when I sit down with the audience to watch one of my shows and witness them enjoying it. To see them become so engaged in the show that they laugh, cry, talk out loud to the actors (laughs) and then share with me afterwards how something they saw really resonated with them or made them think. That makes it all worth it.
What drives you to succeed?
Generally, I’m a self-motivated person, so once I set my sights on something, I go after it. I think the other thing is creating opportunities for others also drives me to succeed. I know that if I can create great shows and productions, the cast, crew and staff can live out their dreams as well. We can all share in the success!
So, now to get more personal. Are you married, single, dating?
(Laughs) I’m single!
Are you looking or open to being in a relationship?
Yes, I’d love to be married, but it has to be with the right man. He has to be secure, supportive and understand that art is not what I do, but it’s who I am.
I bet it would be hard to juggle running your own production company, family, and a relationship. When do you have time for yourself? How do you do it all?
Well, we make time for the things that are important to us. Yes, I stay pretty busy, but family is extremely important to me. I love what I do and put in a lot of hours, but I still make time to talk to my mom every day and spend time with those who are important to me. When I meet that right man, I will make time for him and for us to spend quality time together as well. It can be difficult, but I do make time to have some “Nique” time. It’s all about balance.
What’s next for Monique D. Shaw?
My goal is to continue to grow my company, add talented staff and move MSP to the next level. Look out for new plays and my first feature film. There are many great things on the horizon for Monique D. Shaw!
Monique recently sat down for an interview where she gave us a glimpse inside her world. Find out what she says about how she got her start, her upcoming projects and her personal life!