Matt Shelton is the son of two Bay Area theatre artists, Jean Shelton and the late Robert Elross. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara he began studying acting and began his true formal education. Besides his parents, early artistic influences came from Broadway actor/director and Group Theatre member Wendell Phillips. He studied acting in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Other artistic influences came from two Russian Director/Actors Oleg Liptsin (Russian Academy of Theater Arts, Moscow) and Sasha Tihiy (Moscow Shukin Theatre School). After a series of San Francisco play performances, he received his Equity Stage card by performing in Orphans at the Marin Theatre Company to wide critical acclaim. As a natural comedian one of his performances in Laughing Wild was reviewed as “easily the finest comedic performance on the San Francisco stage.” As a performer he has acted in classics such as; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Long Days Journey into Night, Of Mice and Men, Death of A Salesman, The Seagull and others.
He has performed in radio, television commercials, film and theater and has acted/directed/produced over 25 films and over 75 theatre productions including the landmark productions of Edmond, Glengarry Glen Ross, Marat/Sade, The Big Funk, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Cherry Orchard, and many others. He has acted, directed, produced, and taught over the last 25 years and in 1993 he founded the Shelton Theater where he continues to work with veteran Bay Area actors and directors while providing opportunity to new artists. He has also taught acting at the College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute. He is Artistic Director of the Shelton Theater and Shelton Studios where the art of acting in cinematic and theatrical performance is studied and created.