Originally from Southern California, Shakina enjoys an eclectic career as a performer, director, writer, producer, and social activist. She plays Lola on the Hulu comedy series Difficult People and is the founding Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory (www.mtf.nyc) where she has supported the development of over 100 new musicals, including an autobiographical rock musical about her gender confirmation, Manifest Pussy. Shakina is a proud recipient of a Lilly Award (2015) recognizing the remarkable contributions to the American Theatre made by women, the Theatre Resources Unlimited Humanitarian Award (2016), The Drama League Directors Project Musical Directing Fellowship (2011) and Beatrice Terry Fellowship for women playwright/directors (2017). BA and Graduate Certificate: UC Santa Cruz. MFA, PhD UC Riverside. 

Shakina is  a third generation Butoh artist trained beneath Diego Piñón, founder of Body Ritual Movement. She is also co-writing a rock opera entitled JUNK with the Swedish rock band Brainpool, and has blogged for Playbill.com and BrokeAssStuart.com and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls.