“Del Shores is a master of the Texas comedy.” - Los Angeles Times
Olivia Newton-John and Rue McClanahan on the set of Sordid Lives: The series.
Del Shores has written, directed, and produced successfully across studio and independent film, network and cable television, and regional and national touring theatre.
Shores’ career took off with the play Daddy’s Dyin’ (Who’s Got The Will?) in 1987, which ran two years, winning many Los Angeles theatre awards, including LA Weekly’s Best Production and Best Writing. The play has subsequently been produced in over 2,500 theatres worldwide. A movie version of Daddy’s Dyin’ was released in 1990 by MGM starring Beau Bridges, Tess Harper, Judge Reinhold, Keith Carradine and Beverly D’Angelo. Shores wrote the screenplay and executive produced the film.
Sordid Lives, his fourth play, opened in Los Angeles in 1996 and ran 13 sold-out months. The play went on to win 14 Drama-Logue Theatre Awards, including three for Shores for writing, directing and producing. There have since been over 300 additional stage productions of the play.
Teaching acting workshops
In 1999, Shores wrote and directed the film version of Sordid Lives starring Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan and Beth Grant along with most of the cast from the play. Opening in only eight theaters across the country, the little film that could took in nearly two million dollars in its limited release. The movie became a cult phenomenon and became the longest running film in the history of Palm Springs with a record ninety-six weeks.
The movie won many festival awards including Best Film at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival, Atlanta Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, South Beach Film Festival, Memphis International Film Festival and the San Diego International Film Festival and won a total of thirteen “Audience Awards.” In 2002 Twentieth Century Fox released the DVD/Video, which has now sold over 300,000 units.
Leslie Jordan on the set of Southern Baptist Sissies
Directing Beau Bridges on the set of Sordid Lives
Whoopi Goldberg on the set of
A Very Sordid Wedding
Directing Southern Baptist Sissies
Caroline Rhea on set of
Sordid Lives: The Series
His play Southern Baptist Sissies followed, and it enjoyed a ten-month sold-out run in Los Angeles in 2000. Revived in 2002, Sissies had another six month sold-out run. Shores received the LA Weekly, Robby and Maddy for Best Direction and the Backstage West Garland, Robby and Maddy for Best Writing. The play was also awarded the prestigious GLAAD Award for Outstanding Production of the Year.
In 2003, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife became Shores’ most critically acclaimed play. After a six-month sold-out run in Los Angeles, Shores won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award for Best World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play. The Circle also awarded the play Best Production and Best Lead Performance to Beth Grant. Trials also won five Back Stage West Garland Awards, two NAACP Awards, an LA Stage Alliance Ovation and three LA Weekly Awards.
In 2006, Shores revived three of his plays (Sordid Lives, Southern Baptist Sissies, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife) in Los Angeles before taking to the road for a successful six city national tour, starring Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan, which played in 1000-1700 seat houses.
Sordid Lives: The Series, a television series prequel to the film, premiered on Viacom’s LOGO network in 2008 starring Olivia Newton-John, Rue McClanahan, Leslie Jordan, Beth Grant, Caroline Rhea and many of the original stage and film cast. Shores created, wrote, directed and executive produced all twelve episodes. The series became LOGO’s biggest hit to date, and was distributed internationally through IMG worldwide in syndication in seventeen countries.
In addition to Sordid Lives: The Series, in television Shores has written and produced for many shows including Dharma and Greg and the last three seasons of the ground-breaking Showtime series Queer as Folk. He also wrote, directed and produced the Showtime movie The Wilde Girls, starring Olivia Newton-John and Swoosie Kurtz.
In 2009, Shores hit the road and played 34 cities to sold-out houses with his one-man show Del Shores: My Sordid Life. The DVD was filmed and released in 2012 by Breaking Glass Pictures. He also performed stand-up with various Sordid Lives stars including Rue McClanahan, Caroline Rhea and Leslie Jordan in "A Sordid Affair," playing large theatres in Dallas, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale and Raleigh as well as four nights at Comix in New York City.
On set of Blues for Willadean with Debby Holiday and Octavia Spencer
Film festival for Southern Baptist Sissies with Willam Belli, Emerson Collins & Leslie Jordan
World Premierre of A Very Sordid Wedding with Bonnie Bedelia
Directing Sarah Hunley in
A Very Sordid Wedding
The world premiere of Shores’ newest play, Yellow, opened June 11, 2010 to rave reviews and ran six sold-out months. Yellow followed in the unmatched footsteps of Shores’ six previous world premiere productions that have run collectively for over eight years and won over one hundred Los Angeles theatre awards. The production swept various Los Angeles theatre awards including Best World Premiere, Best Production, Best Direction for Del Shores himself (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Backstage Garland, LA Weekly, Broadway World.) The play became Shores’ seventh Samuel French published play and just played to sold-out houses for Uptown Players in Dallas at the historic Kalita Humpheys. He also directed the Dallas production.
Shores wrote, directed and produced the film version of his play The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife with the entire original stage cast: Beth Grant (Sordid Lives, Little Miss Sunshine, No Country For Old Men) Octavia Spencer (Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG Award Winner “Minnie” in The Help), Dale Dickey (Spirit Award Winner, Best Supporting Actress Winter’s Bone), David Steen (Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained) and top 10 Billboard dance artist Debby Holiday. The film adaption is entitled Blues For Willadean and was released in select theaters in late 2012. It is now available on iTunes and other pay per view services.
With Emerson Collins at the world premiere of the film of Southern Baptist Sissies
In the summer of 2011, Shores took to the road again, selling out his new stand-up show Del Shores: Sordid Confessions in 40 cities. Shores returned to his home state of Texas in January of 2012 to film the show at the famous Rose Room in Dallas. Breaking Glass Pictures released the DVD to rave reviews. His stand-up career continued to explode and he launched his third national tour in 2012 with Del Shores: Naked.Sordid.Reality which he performed over fifty times then was filmed The Rose Room. He is currently completing his fourth stand-up tour with DEL SHORES: SINgularly SORDID, where he addresses his abrupt single life in his fifties, along with more stories, political rants and his signatory P.S. F.U. letters.
Shores film of his play Southern Baptist Sissies stormed the film festival circuit in 2013 and won ten major awards, including many for Shores. The film stars Emerson Collins, Willam Belli, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Luke Stratte-McClure, Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander, Bobbie Eakes, Ann Walker, Dale Dickey and Leslie Jordan.
Shores also recently returned to acting, co-starring in the 2013 independent feature Cry.
Shores' final chapter of his Sordid Lives franchise – A Very Sordid Wedding – opened in 60 U.S. markets, gaining rave reviews as the number one specialty box office opening weekend, and was the number one LGBT DVD on Amazon for six straight weeks. The film stars many of the Sordid veterans including Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Caroline Rhea, Dale Dickey and Ann Walker with cameos by Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Mapa and Carole Cook.
Shores' latest one-man play, Six Characters in Search of a Play, toured 45 cities and was produced as a film, directed by Emerson Collins, and is now playing film festivals.
He also teaches acting and writing workshops across the country, independently and as a lecturer and guest artist at universities.
Del is represented by Cindy Mintz at The Kaplan-Stahler Agency as a writer-director, by Linda McAlister Talent as an actor and is managed by Michael Warwick for personal appearances. His publisher for all of his plays is Samuel French, Inc. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @DelShores and visit his Facebook fan page @delshoresfanclub
With Beth Grant on set of Blues For Willadean
Directing A Very Sordid Wedding
With Carole Cook
Directing A Very Sordid Wedding in Canada
Dale Dickey on set of A Very Sordid Wedding
“Del Shores is the grand master of Southern lowlife sensibilities.” - Daily Variety