Lee Eric Shackleford -- "leeshack" to his friends -- is a writer for stage, screen, and radio with more than 150 produced scripts to his credit. He has written for network, cable, syndicated, and web-based drama series and created more than two dozen original full-length works for the stage.
As a playwright, his best-known script is probably Holmes & Watson, which was produced off-Broadway in 1990 with Lee in the role of Sherlock Holmes. His adaptation of Karel Čapek's 1920 play R.U.R. ran off-Broadway in 2013. Both plays were premiered at Theatre UAB.
As an Assistant Professor in our Department, Lee teaches a variety of creative writing and script analysis courses. Instrumental in creating our Theatre Film Minor and the University's Individually Designed Major in Film, Lee has successfully moved all of our scriptwriting courses online, where more students can be taught in each semester than ever before.
Lee has produced our immensely popular annual Festival of Ten-Minute Plays since its inception in 2003. The Festival features scripts created in his playwriting classes and then expanded, edited, and polished over the following year. The result has been more than 100 entirely new and original short plays, performed for standing-room-only audiences.
Many of our touring productions for young audiences feature Lee's adaptations of works of literature, such as The Amazing Traveling Aesop Show, The Thousand and One Nights, The Ransom of Red Chief, The Legend of Robin Hood, and Six Tales from Six Continents. Lee's adaption of Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer has gone on to be his most widely-produced work, with more than a hundred performances since its premiere at UAB.
Working with his wife, the noted media psychologist Karen Dill-Shackleford, Lee is now exploring the relationship between performed narrative and its audience in a more scientific way. For example, Lee and Karen created the short play Over Here as part of an experiment intended to prove that drama can change people’s feelings about intimate-partner violence. The short answer is “yes,” and the complex detailed results were presented at the 2012 World Meeting of the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) in Luxembourg, and have been published as “Setting the Stage for Social Change: Using Live Theater to Dispel Myths about Intimate Partner Violence” in the Journal of Health Communication (Volume 20, Issue 8, 2015).
Radio drama has long been a passion of Lee's, and he channeled that love as Head Writer and Post-Production Supervisor for UAB's four-year-long radio drama serial Bodylove and its sequel Keeping Up with the Walkers. Since then he has collaborated with the UAB School of Public Health and inmates at the Donaldson Correctional Facility to create the radio drama series Corrections. All three of these series used character-based drama as a means of teaching audiences about healthy behaviors related to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other risk factors of being overweight.
Puppetry is another of Lee's lifelong loves, and he has brought that devotion to his direction of our Kids on the Block touring puppet show since 1999. The troupe visits an average of forty elementary schools each year, bringing a positive message about coping with bullies.
Lee is well-known to UAB's Deans, Provost, and President as the Announcer for UAB's Doctoral Hooding Ceremonies. Twice a year, Lee introduces candidates for a Doctoral degree with correct pronunciation of each name and of each often-complex dissertation title.
He has been our “web guru” for as long as it has been possible to have one. Lee built and maintains the web site you're looking at now, and a site showcasing his script work at www.shacklefordfreelance.com.
OFFICE: ASC 283