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Shamas moved to Toronto in 1980, where she held a variety of jobs before a workshop at The Second City inspired her to pursue a career in performing arts. She acted with Second City and Theatresports, and worked as a puppeteer on the children's series Fraggle Rock before deciding to strike out on her own.
In 1987, she applied to the Edmonton Fringe Festival to perform her first show, My Boyfriend's Back and There's Gonna Be Laundry. The show, a mixture of personal stories drawn from her own life and observational humour about dating and relationships, was a smash hit of the festival, and soon Shamas was on tour performing the show across the country.
In 1989, Shamas began performing the sequel, My Boyfriend's Back and There's Gonna Be Laundry II: The Cycle Continues. A third show, Wedding Bell Hell, dealing with wedding rituals such as the bridal shower and selection of the wedding rings and dress, made its debut in 1991.
In 1993, Shamas took Laundry to the Old Vic Theatre in London for her first performance outside Canada, and was well received by the British audience and critics.
After some time away from the spotlight, Shamas returned with a new series of shows, Wit's End', Wit's End II...Heart's Desire, and Wit's End III...Love Life. These shows revolved around her move to the country after buying a farm in Southern Ontario.
Shamas has been nominated for the Governor General's Award and the Stephen Leacock Award for the Laundry trilogy. She won a Gemini Award in 1991 for Best Performance in Comedy, and won the Best Theatre Award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in March 2003.
Sandra Shamas : a trilogy of performances (Mercury Press, 1997)
Wit's end (Mercury Press, 2002)
- "Cumulative list of finalists for the Governor General's Literary Award" (PDF). GGBooks.ca. The Canada Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-27.
- "Awards Database". Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Archived from the original on 2015-04-22.
- "The 2017 Appointees to the Order of Ontario". January 29, 2018.