Shawna Franks has helped the downtown Phoenix theater writers’ community grow immensely, as founder and artistic director at Space 55 Theatre, which hosts theater performances, as well as writing classes and workshops. The Phoenix resident and her team opened the theater in 2006, and since it’s become a haven for new, cutting-edge works that have never been seen in Arizona. Franks, a veteran stage and film actress, also teaches acting at the Arizona School for the Arts. She helped create the hilarious character of Blanche in the current holiday musical A Bloody Mary Christmas, playing through Saturday, December 21. Read on for what drives Franks’ desire to boost the local theater community, as well as to hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley.
What brought you to Arizona?
I was born in Santa Cruz, California and moved to Chicago at the age of 17. Chicago is where I went to school and started acting. I also performed in Europe, then I moved to Los Angeles for a little while. After my two sons were born, I moved to Phoenix because of a job opportunity for my husband. Continue reading