LaRita "Jazzy Rita" Shelby
LMU laid the groundwork for an amazing career! LaRita Shelby (Class of '84) has starred in the films South Central, Walk By Faith, Kings Of The Evening and more. On TV she has appeared on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, ER, JAG, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and others. Her career on stage has included productions such as Feelings, For Colored Girls, Stop To Love and more.
LaRita's roots extend from Tennessee, to D. C., to Los Angeles; where she earned her B. A. in Theatre Arts from Loyola Marymount, sitting in the front row when Frank Sinatra gave the commencement address! LaRita recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Touro University Worldwide, receiving a Masters in Media and Communications Psychology, with a concentration in Media Leadership.
Shelby authored the book Dictation: Plays, Poems & Monologues and selected works from this book have even been performed at the St. Croix Theatre Festival. "Espresso Cafe´" (a short play from the book) will be featured at the 2014 Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Festival, September 14th 2014. Espresso Cafe´ is co-produced by Janet Kaye and Ed White (LMU class of 90). In the summer of 2014 LaRita served as Honorary Chair of The Women's Theatre Festival of Memphis, which hosted over 30 plays and events. For the past two years LaRita has worked with mentally challenged teens with a creative and therapeutic curriculum that she customized called "Acting From The School of Life."
LaRita formerly hosted her own show on the worldwide Armed Forces Radio network, and she recorded a jazz CD "A Date With A Song." Currently LaRita (aka Jazzy Rita) is completing album number two. LaRita has one son (Justin) and she's a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. There are several projects on the slate for this proud alum, including two films and a historic stage play by Levi Frazier. LaRita is also an independent marketing & media consultant and a contributing reporter for the Electronic Urban Report at www.EURweb.com.