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. F. Kathleen Folley of the Los
Angeles Time wrote, “Del Shores is a master of the Texas
comedy.” The play went on to win 14 Drama-Logue Theatre
Awards, including three for Shores for wring, directing and producing. There have since been over 300 additional stage productions of the play.
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 theatres across the country, the little film that could took in nearly two million dollars in its limited release. The movie became a cult phenomenon through strong word of mouth allowing it to run in the theater for a year in both Dallas and Fort Lauderdale; it 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 a total of thirteen “Audience Awards.” In 2002 Twentieth Century Fox released the DVD/Video, which has now sold over 300,000 units.
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 standup 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.
The world premiere of Shores’ newest play, Yellow, opened June 11, 2010 to rave reviews from the critics and ran six sold-out months. Yellow is 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 recently 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.)
Next up for Shores was writing, directing and producing the film version of his play The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife with the entire original stage cast: Beth Grant (The Artist, 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 upcoming Django Unchained) and top 10 Billboard dance artist Debby Holiday. The film adaption is entitled Blues For Willadean and will be released theatrically in late 2012.
In the summer of 2011, Shores took to the road again, selling out his new standup show Del Shores Sordid Confessions in 40 cities. Shores returned to his home state of Texas in January to film the show at the famous Rose Room in Dallas. The DVD is due to be released in 2012.
Shores completed principal photograph, co-starring in the independent feature Cry, due in film festivals and theatres in 2013.
Shores is currently on tour once again with his record-breaking stand-up tour of Del Shores: Naked.Sordid.Reality.