Sandra Shotlander graduated with a B.A. from the University of Melbourne and a teaching certificate from the Secondary Teachers' College, Melbourne. During her university studies she was active in drama societies and later attended the National Theatre Drama School. In 1965 Shotlander went to the United Kingdom, acting in provincial repertory theatres. She worked as a teacher, actor and director in England, the United States and Australia.
Shotlander established 'The Plantagenets', a theatre-in-education group, in 1970 and 'Mime and Mumbles', a theatre of the deaf. Shotlander directed the first production of the latter at the Pram Factory in 1974 and was a pioneer writer-in-residence at the University of Melbourne, 1977-1978. She spent a year at a feminist writers' school at the Women's Writer's Centre in New York (1980-1981). This was central to her development as a writer. In 1982, she co-founded 'Salon - A - Muse', a successful salon for women based on the Paris salons of the 1920s.
Shotlander wrote poetry and short stories, television, radio and stage scripts. In 1991 she wrote the play, 'Angels of Power' which appeared in the anthology, Angels ofPower and Other Reproductive Creations (1991) edited by Susan Hawthorne and Renate Klein. In 1996 the play 'Is That You Nancy' was published in Australian Gay and Lesbian Plays edited by Bruce Parr (1996) and Car Maintenance, Explosives and Love : and Other Lesbian Writings edited by Susan Hawthorne et. al.(1997).
Commissions include 'Waiting for Waves' (1993) for the Victorian Arts Centre and the radio drama, 'Rites of Return' (1994) for the Australian Broadcasting Commission. She also wrote, workshopped and directed commissions for Melbourne schools. Shotlander received writing and production grants from the Australia Council, was playwright-in-residence at James Cook University (1993) and was sponsored to attend the International Womens Playwrights Conferences in Buffalo, New York (1988) and Adelaide (1994). In the 1990s she started touring and performing with the comic, Ingleton, playing mostly to lesbian/feminist venues and audiences.
(Sources: Clare Kermond 'Pushing from the Margins from Centre Stage', The Age (3 February 1995): 18; William H. Wilde. et. al. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (1994): 695; 'The Writer', Blind Salome (1985))