Shannon TL Kearns

Shannon TL Kearns

Shannon TL Kearns is a transgender man who's playwriting is obsessed with big questions told through small stories. He is committed to work by and for marginalized communities, using writing to create a new future for all of us. Shannon was the playwright in residence at the William Inge House in summer of 2021. He was a recipient of the Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowship in 20/21 and a Lambda Literary...
Shannon TL Kearns is a transgender man who's playwriting is obsessed with big questions told through small stories. He is committed to work by and for marginalized communities, using writing to create a new future for all of us. Shannon was the playwright in residence at the William Inge House in summer of 2021. He was a recipient of the Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowship in 20/21 and a Lambda Literary Fellow for 2019. Shannon was selected for Seven Devils Playwrights’ Conference 2021. Shannon has had residencies with the HBMG Foundations’ Winter Playwright Retreat and Everwood Artists Retreat. He and his plays have been finalists or semi-finalists with Bay Area Playwrights Festival, O’Neill Playwrights Festival, Equity Library Theatre of Chicago, TransLab, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and American Stages New Play Festival. He was the founder and Artistic Director of Uprising Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. Shannon’s plays include Body+Blood, in a stand of dying trees, Line of Sight, Beautiful Twisted Deaths, The Resistance of My Skin, and Who Has Eyes To See. He also has two television pilots: Family Unit and Transformed.

Plays

  • Body + Blood
    As whispers become a roar and threats mount, Joshua stands in front of his congregation plagued by doubts. He knows he is called and yet he can’t help but wonder if it makes a difference. If he can make a difference. If he’s enough. Or if maybe he’s too much of too many things-- transgender man, bartender, priest—too fractured to heal the suffering souls of others. But when, in a moment of chaos, he calls out...
    As whispers become a roar and threats mount, Joshua stands in front of his congregation plagued by doubts. He knows he is called and yet he can’t help but wonder if it makes a difference. If he can make a difference. If he’s enough. Or if maybe he’s too much of too many things-- transgender man, bartender, priest—too fractured to heal the suffering souls of others. But when, in a moment of chaos, he calls out in despair the answer is clear: there is more to this story.
  • in a stand of dying trees
    In this play big city idealism and small town realities intersect. Ben and Amanda love their town. They love their neighbors. Sure, they sometimes disagree, but they are comfortable. When Liam, Ben’s former college friend, comes to town on a campaign to get people to “vote blue” their idyllic life is threatened. Can people remain friends even when they disagree? How is it for transgender folks who live in rural...
    In this play big city idealism and small town realities intersect. Ben and Amanda love their town. They love their neighbors. Sure, they sometimes disagree, but they are comfortable. When Liam, Ben’s former college friend, comes to town on a campaign to get people to “vote blue” their idyllic life is threatened. Can people remain friends even when they disagree? How is it for transgender folks who live in rural areas? And who has the right to defend themselves?
  • Line of Sight
    Line of Sight is the story of Alex, a young trans masculine teenager, who is bullied at school, not accepted by his parents, and doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. In the midst of a shooting at his school, he somehow manages to turn himself invisible. Guided by a mysterious prophet Alex struggles to figure out why he can't be seen and what he should do next.
  • Twisted Deaths
    Pam and Ryan couldn’t be more different. He is a young transgender man and she is an older conservative woman but when they are both diagnosed with cancer their lives intersect in ways that neither of them could have ever imagined.

    This work explores questions of identity, relationships, our health care system, and who has control over your body and life.
  • Beyond The Door
    A short play for children.

    Alex doesn't like sleeping with the closet door open and maybe for good reason. Alex hears noises and meets Sam the Explorer who claims to be there to take Alex on an adventure. A short and funny piece about overcoming your fears.
  • The Resistance Of My Skin
    Ayden and Jess have been dating. They both think that tonight might be “the night”, but each one is nervous for their own reasons. Ayden hasn’t been with anyone since his transition. Jess is afraid that her size will make Ayden run away. Can they overcome their insecurities to be intimate with one another? How can they embrace vulnerability in the midst of fear?
  • Who Has Eyes To See
    Jamie, a transgender man, gets called back to his family home by his mother, Catherine, with the cryptic message that his sister, Emily, is in trouble. With the support of his loving wife, Alison, Jamie comes home to confront family struggles, a mother that doesn’t recognize him, and a past that he thought he had left behind but that impacts him in ways he can’t even see. A touching story about family,...
    Jamie, a transgender man, gets called back to his family home by his mother, Catherine, with the cryptic message that his sister, Emily, is in trouble. With the support of his loving wife, Alison, Jamie comes home to confront family struggles, a mother that doesn’t recognize him, and a past that he thought he had left behind but that impacts him in ways he can’t even see. A touching story about family, connections, and what it means to have a home.