Assistant Professor of Theatre
Voice and Stage Speech
Shelly Gaza is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Northern Colorado, specializing in Voice & Speech, Dialects, and Acting Styles. She has an MFA in Acting from Wayne State University, a BFA in Acting from Millikin University, and has studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. Shelly is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association and Actors’ Equity Association.
As an actor, Shelly has worked with theatre companies across the country including the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival (appearing in Twelfth Night, King Lear, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and The Taming of the Shrew, and others), the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Paragon Theatre (Denver), Talisman Theatre (Chicago), and The JET and Hilberry Repertory Theatres in Detroit. Most recently, she has performed with The Little Theatre of the Rockies in Colorado in God of Carnage, Private Lives, On Golden Pond, The 39 Steps, and Master Class. Shelly received the 2003 Oscar Wilde Award for Best Actress for her work in A Streetcar Named Desire at Hilberry Repertory, the 2006 Finlayson Acting Award at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Best Actress in a Drama by the Greeley Tribune in 2012 for her portrayal as Maria Callas in Master Class. Shelly has also performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and done film, television and radio work including national commercials for HGTV, Red Roof Inn Hotels, and Coors Light.
As a director, Shelly received the 2009 award for Best Direction of a Period Play by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Region 5) for her production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Other directing credits include As You Like It and Intimate Apparel at The University of Northern Colorado and The Taming of the Shrew for the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 Shakespeare in the Schools tour. Shelly has also done Speech and Dialect coaching at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada, CO.
Shelly has taught theatre at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Wayne State University, the Actor Training Program at Utah Shakespeare Festival/Southern Utah University, and the Lake Dillon Theatre Company.