Peggy Shaw

Peggy Shaw
Born Margaret A. Shaw
(1944-07-27) July 27, 1944
Belmont, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Occupation Actor, writer, producer
Known for Founder of the Split Britches

Peggy Shaw (born July 24, 1944) [1] is an actor, writer, and producer living in New York City. She is a founding member of the Split Britches and WOW Cafe Theatre, and is a recipient of several Obie Awards, including two for Best Actress for her performances in Dress Suits to Hire in 1988 and Menopausal Gentleman in 1999.[2]

Early life and education

Born Margaret A. Shaw in Belmont, Massachusetts, she was raised in a working class Irish Congregationalist family with seven siblings. When she was thirteen, she was a missionary in Costa Rica.[3]

Shaw moved to New York in 1967. She had a child and was a social worker for the New York City Agency for Child Development.[3]

In 1967, Shaw earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art.



Shaw became involved with Hot Peaches Theater, a theater group in New York that consisted mostly of drag queens. Her first experience on stage was in 1975 on a gay tour of Europe. While she was living in London, she saw Spiderwoman Theater in Amsterdam and met Lois Weaver.[3][4]

Shaw founded the troupe Split Britches with Deb Margolin and Lois Weaver in 1980.[5] She also co-founded WOW Cafe Theater, an ongoing performance festival.

Shaw suffered a stroke in 2011. Her show, RUFF, directed by longtime collaborator Lois Weaver, explores her experiences as a survivor.[2]

The University of Michigan published A Menopausal Gentleman, a book that includes many of the scripts from Shaw's solo performances.[6]


Awards and Grants

Shaw has received Obie Awards for her performances in Dress Suits To Hire, and Menopausal Gentleman, and an ensemble award for her work in Belle Reprieve.


  1. Date of birth,; accessed June 13, 2014.
  2. 1 2 Isherwood, Charles (January 13, 2013). "A Deadpan Look at Life Before and After a Stroke". The New York Times.
  3. 1 2 3 "Peggy Shaw by Craig Lucas". Bomb. Fall 1999.
  4. Snook, Raven (January 9, 2014). "Peggy Shaw: Making Funny Theater Out of Aging and Loss". Senior Planet.
  5. "Peggy Shaw at Split Britches". Split Britches. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  6. "A Menopausal Gentleman The Solo Performances of Peggy Shaw". University of Michigan Press. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  7. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  8. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  9. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  10. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  11. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  12. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  13. "Peggy Shaw". Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  14. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  15. "Peggy Shaw" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  16. "Peggy Shaw". Retrieved 2015-07-04.

Further reading

External links

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