top of page

director | developer.

Shelby R. Seeley (she/her) is a Yale-certified director and new work developer in "Downriver" Michigan. Collaborators call Shelby nuanced, honest, passionate, and creative. She is currently serving as Associate Artistic Director & Literary Manager at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor, MI.

Shelby goes to the theatre to be affirmed, challenged, and ignited. Amidst the American loneliness epidemic, she goes to experience something as a collective and form a deeper connection with her community. As a young director, she's inspired by violently tender, ferally feminine narratives that challenge the theatrical form. She's interested in stories where the characters bleed for the audience. Her aim is to cultivate a transformative, resonant, and communal theatrical event.

Director: "Death of a Driver" (Theatre Nova), "Lovebird Jamboree" (Planet Ant Theatre), “Man of La Mancha” (The Penny Seats Theatre Company), “Pizza Slut” (Boxfest Detroit), “Twelfth Night” (Phoenix Theatre Productions),  "Driveway Dating" (Open Book Theatre Company), “The Gulf” (Eastern Michigan University Lab Theatre).

Staged Readings: "Funny, Like HAHA (Or, a Play About a Rape Joke)" (Flint Repertory Theatre), "Loretta's Crematorium Hour" (48th Annual Samuel French Short Play Festival), "Imposter!" (Renaissance City Repertory Theatre),  "Bermuda Triangles: The Non-Monogamy Experiment" (Independent). 

Assistant Director: "Happy Days” “Wrong River” “Death of a Salesman” (Flint Repertory Theatre). 

Shelby produced "Sassafras and the Captain" for the Fresh Fruit Festival in NYC, winning the award for "Outstanding Production of 2022".

From 2017-2023, Shelby was the Director of Theatre at Patrick Henry Middle School, where she directed 12 productions and taught hundreds of students. The program goal was to engage, enlighten, and empower students through theatrical productions.


Shelby has professional playwright assisting ("The Future Is Female", Flint Repertory Theatre), acting (University of Michigan's CRLT Players; Michigan Shakespeare Festival Interstate Touring Company; The Call of the Void Podcast), and teaching experience. She attended Yale University's summer session and received a Certificate in Directing (2021) and the Kennedy Center Directing Intensive (2021). She earned her BS in Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University (2020).

Contact by email at

"Excellent preparation of the text, clear precise notes,  praise without fawning, attention to goals during rehearsal with an eye on the clock to stay on course, and a joyful demeanor to make the whole experience fun."

-Connie Cowper, actor. 

"Shelby has gone above and beyond to help me elevate my craft and share my art with an entirely new audience. In August of 2023, Shelby single-handedly directed and produced one of my plays in the 48th annual Samuel French short play festival, held in the heart of New York City. Although this festival was in an entirely different state than her, Shelby had the know-how to cast the show, run rehearsals, and bring my script to life in a way that was better than I could have even imagined, all while doing so in a pleasant, professional manner that would make any emerging artist eager to work with her time and time again."

- P.S. Drake, playwright.

"Shelby has never ceased to amaze me with her unmatched drive and passion for what she creates and accomplishes Her kindness, imagination, and willingness to experiment inspire me."

- Parker Stephen Nolan, stage manager.

"She is resourceful, unflappable and undaunted by tasks I would consider to be Herculean, and through it all she is always kind, encouraging and positive."

- Phil Simmons, co-director & mentor.

"Her superpower is attention to detail. She continues to find nuances... it keeps the work honest. She makes projects collaborative and fun."

- Kasey Donelly, actor.

bottom of page