IN 2010 KTC produced the World Premiere of INFLUENCE written by Shem. The play received an LA Weekly nomination for best play as well as a LADCC nomination for lead actor. INFLUENCE is the third in Shem's Iraq war trilogy. MAN.GOV, the first, was produced by Circus Theatricals and nominated for Best Play by the LA WEEKLY. HARM'S WAY, the second, also produced by CT, won the 2008 Pen Award. Both transferred to New York. His newest play A DEATH IN COLOMBIA premiered at KTC's Skylight Theatre in Hollywood in July 2011.
Other plays include; THE JOB, LA Times Critic's Circle Award Best New Play; SENSITIVE SKIN, THE CIRCLE, TEN BELOW , National Play Award; PEEPHOLE, Davie Award; NIGHT-SIDE; THE RAMP, California Playwright's Competition; BEIJING LEGENDS, Fund For New American Plays and IOWA BOYS, CBS/FDG New Plays Award.
Shem's film adaptation of the THE JOB, which he directed, featuring Patrick Flueger, Taryn Manning, Joe Pantoliano and Ron Perlman, won Best Screenplay at the 2009 San Diego Film Festival and was distributed through Magnolia, Spring, 2010. Other films include:PLAY DEAD; FULL COUNT; TINSELTOWN, OUT OF THE RAIN, OFF THE LIP and OPEN HOUSE.
Shem got his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing at University of Iowa and has taught screenwriting, playwriting and acting in the California Prisons and in Beijing, China. Shem heads KTC's Playwriting Lab.