• Portrait of Dan Shaner

Dan Shaner

Assistant Professor of Theatre Practice in Acting
Director of Professional Development


Dan Shaner is an assistant professor of theatre practice in acting at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He has been a casting director in film, television, and new media for more than 25 years, working for every major studio and network. Film credits include Latter Days, which won several awards including the Outfest Audience Award; Buddy Boy, directed by Roman Polanski protégé Mark Hanlon; Love and Sex, and Everything Put Together, directed by BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee Marc Forster, which were both in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in the same year. Additional films have featured Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Academy Award nominee Amy Adams, Academy Award nominee Julie Delpy, and country music superstar Willie Nelson, among many others. Television credits include pilots starring Amy Adams, Minnie Driver, Michael Chiklis, Rob Lowe, Wes Studi and Maggie Q, among others. Series television credits include Cold Case, (including future Academy Award-winning guest stars Jennifer Lawrence and Melissa Leo, as well as then rising stars Darren Criss, Shailene Woodley, Michael B. Jordan, and Chadwick Boseman), Roswell, Moonlight, The Whole Truth, Chase, Ringer, Make It or Break It and Hollywood Heights. As head of casting for six years at Wilshire Court Productions, he cast 75 movies for television, garnering an Artios Award nomination and a Cable Ace Award nomination, and featuring such stars as William H. Macy, Marg Helgenberger, Cicely Tyson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Virginia Madsen, among many others. Prior to casting, Dan was a talent agent, representing actors, writers and directors.

He teaches professional development and audition technique at the USC School of Dramatic Arts in the MFA, BFA and BA acting programs, and is the entertainment industry liaison officer and mentor to all three programs. He recently created and heads the SDA Career Center, the first of its kind in the nation.
Shaner graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in English and is a major fundraiser and volunteer with Project Angel Food and APLA.