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Michael Shutt 

Writer & performer

Michael Shutt is a playwright, actor, director, and producer with 30 years of experience.


Based in Los Angeles, he has worked with companies such as Antaeus, Ghost Road, Celebration, Son of Semele, and his artistic home, Moving Arts where he originated the role of Ellery in EM Lewis’ award-winning Play SONG OF EXTINCTION, and performed over 500 times in the unique immersive theatrical event THE CAR PLAYS, which included performances at The Walt Disney Hall, Segerstrom Center, and La Jolla Playhouse. Michael co-founded and ran Moving Arts' New Play Development Lab "MADLab," where he focused on helping other playwrights tell their stories. Then, after surviving three strokes, he decided to finally tell one of his own.


A LESSON IN SWIMMING is Michael's autobiographical solo show that takes you inside his brain as it breaks and invites you to experience how deep the cracks really go. A semi-finalist for The Eugene O’Neill Center’s 2020 National Playwright’s Conference, it was scheduled to have its world premiere in May 2020 and is currently on hold because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Michael has a BA in Theatre from Kalamazoo College, an MFA in Acting from UCLA, and is a graduate of The British/American Drama Academy in London, England.

Michael has been a featured storyteller at Shine, Gorgeous Stories, The CRxEATIVITY Festival, Expressing Motherhood, and The REVERB Festival hosted and produced by The Roundabout Theatre.

Diana Wyenn 

Director & Dramaturg

Born and based in Los Angeles, Diana Wyenn is a director, writer, and choreographer of contemporary and original works for theater, opera, film, digital and site-specific performance. Her practice includes advocacy in the realms of environmental and disability justice.       

She has worked with the LA Phil, Center Theatre Group, Lincoln Center, The Walt Disney Company, Barbican, REDCAT, SummerStage, Grand Performances, Chalk Repertory Theatre, and more. She is also the co-founder of Plain Wood Productions with her partner, and serves as Artistic Director of TIOH Arts & Culture, where she curates contemporary media, visual, and performing arts.

Most recently, and in response to the pandemic, Wyenn adapted her award-winning autobiographical stage production, Blood/Sugar, into a multi-camera, multimedia-enhanced film/theater hybrid set in her own home. The work, which illuminates, embodies and challenges the global diabetes crisis is currently available on-demand.


Her work has been supported by the California Arts Council, National Arts and Disability Center, Center for Cultural Innovation, and featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, American Theatre Magazine, Daily Beast, Fast Company, and on NPR. Wyenn received her BFA in Drama from New York University and is a proud associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

John Zalewski 

Sound designer, engineer & composer

He’s designed sound and created music-soundscape hybrids for live performances and installations and is a member of Evidence Room and Latino Theater  Company. 


INTERNATIONAL: The Day Shall Declare It, site-specific immersive in London and Los Angeles with  Wilderness. REGIONAL: Goodman (Destiny of  Desire), Guthrie (A Steady Rain; Destiny of Desire),  Arena Stage (Destiny of Desire; Hold These Truths),  Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Destiny of Desire;  Macbeth) Portland Center Stage (I Love to Eat; Hold  These Truths), Pasadena Playhouse (The Father)  South Coast Repertory (Dead Man’s Cellphone;  Destiny of Desire; The Scarlet Letter), Actor’s  Theater Humana Festival (At the Vanishing Point),  San Diego Rep (Hold These Truths) Perseverance  Theatre (Hold These Truths; Silent Sky), Alliance  Theatre (A Steady Rain), Cherry Lane (Mayakovsky  and Stalin) Disney Hall (The Composer is Dead),  Geffen (War Music), Center Theater Group (The  Nether; Women Laughing Alone with Salad) East  West Players (most recent, Vietgone), The Getty Villa  (La Olla; Antigone Project) Broad Stage (My Moby  Dick), Wallis Annenberg Center (The Revisionist),  Rattlestick (AZAK at Gym at Judson; What Happened When) and with companies in Los Angeles including  Lewis Family Playhouse, Boston Court, Evidence Room, Padua Playwrights, Actors’ Gang and Latino  Theater Company. AWARDS: include seven LA Stage Alliance Ovation  Awards, seven LA Weekly Awards, three Los  Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, and ten  Backstage Garlands, one SAGE Award. 

The radio play has been supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Note: Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Arts and Disability Center.

A Lesson in Swimming was initially developed in Terrie Silverman’s Creative Rites Masterclass and received a workshop production at Moving Arts with director and dramaturg Diana Wyenn.

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