Shanda Sawyer’s work as a Director, Choreographer and Executive Producer has garnered numerous awards including two Emmys®, a Gracie, a Peabody, five American Choreography Award nominations, and a World Choreography Award.
Sawyer was tapped to create the first ever Marvel Universe Live! arena show- debuted July 2014 & touring globally for five years. Sawyer created the original concept that brought Marvel, Disney Theatricals and Feld Entertainment together for this revolutionary undertaking, and served as Show Creator, Director and Co-Writer. Sawyer was also chosen to re-imagine the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. With Executive Producers Nicole Feld & Kenneth Feld and a team of Oscar®, Tony® and Emmy Award® winners, Sawyer completely re-designed this American entertainment icon; transforming the performance space, incorporating video, a narrative storyline and fresh musical score. Sawyer’s first Ringling show Circus of Dreams was lauded as the biggest change in 50 years. The NY Times praised her next show Zing Zang Zoom as “an artful eyeful, liberally spiced with mystifying magic.” Sawyer’s next circus; DRAGONS! toured to sold-out crowds and rave reviews.
Sawyer’s work as a comedy director has fueled the success of television shows such as The Man Show, Queer Eye, The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, Motown Live and Comics on Delivery as well as popular programs such as Extreme Makeover, The Miss America Pageant, and The World’s Greatest Stunts. She brought a fresh eye to Disney’s Christmas Parade as Creative Consultant for performances by Beyonce, Andrea Bocelli, and Michael Bolton. Sawyer was also honored to design and direct the Michael Kidd tribute for the 69th Academy Awards®.
Sawyer developed, executive produced and directed the critically acclaimed reality/comedy series Who Needs Hollywood? for Oxygen; winning the Gracie Allen Award for best Reality show.
Other projects include serving as choreographer and creative director for top Asian music company Thuy Nga’s spectacular international productions for over 10 years, creating a wide variety of stage shows and music videos for Asian music stars. She also works extensively in Europe designing live shows characterized by her fluid use of video, narrative, comedy and spectacle.
Sawyer’s choreography credits include television shows such as House MD, Las Vegas, GhostWhisperer, and Keenen Ivory Wayans, as well as numerous commercials for clients such as Levi’s, Nestles, Nintendo, Yoplait, Carnival Cruise, Disney and Pepsi, and music videos for Chris Rock, Hammer and the original song “Surprise” from Chorus Line the Movie.
Sawyer is a member of the Director’s Guild of America, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers.