Edgar J. Shockley III

2008 Pew Fellow

Edgar J. Shockley III, 2008 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.

“I write about characters facing moral victories…and that theme of what it means to be successful, what it means to be a hero, seems to appear again and again and again in play after play after play.”

Edgar J. Shockley III (b. 1957) sees his unique contribution to the world as reconciling African and European theatrical aesthetics, allowing him to make us all more aware of what it means to be human. Because the scope of his vision is so wide, 30 years ago he set a goal for himself to write 100 plays. Shockley is the founder of the Temple Playwrights Lab, as well as the co-founder of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center, serving as the artistic director for more than 10 years. His plays include Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, The Oracle, Slave Narratives Revisited, The Corner, Badman, Stone Mansion, and Bobos.

Shockley has received numerous awards throughout his career, most notably a W. Alton Jones Foundation Grant, which he received with music collaborator James McBride, as well as a Richard Rogers Award and the Stephen Sondheim Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Musical Theatre. In 2005, he was awarded a Pennsylvania Arts Council Fellowship. Shockley continues to teach courses at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, as well as Rutgers University, NJ.

A Fierce Kind of Love, a new play about the fight for disability rights, will be part of a series of public programs meant to generate public discussion beyond the disability community.

Grants & Grantees

The Wilma Theater creates living, adventurous art through bold and ambitious design choices.

Grants & Grantees

You have to almost exhaust yourself sometimes to let yourself say what it is, or do what it is, in the most honest way.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ben Marcus is the author of several books of fiction, including Leaving the Sea (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) and The Flame Alphabet (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012).

Collaborators & Colleagues

John Corbett is a writer, musician, radio host, teacher, record producer, concert promoter, and, with co-owner Jim Dempsey, of Corbett vs. Dempsey art gallery in Chicago.

Grants & Grantees

Hipolito “Tito” Rubio is a musician and a 2004 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.

Over our first decade, the Center has been privileged to fund extraordinary work by our dynamic and talented community of practitioners. As we reflect on our history and set the stage for the future, we invite you to take a brief, retrospective journey with us through a lively video that looks back over this period.

Grants & Grantees

Tobin Rothlein is a dance artist and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Bo Bartlett is a painter and a 1993 Pew Fellow.

Pew Fellow Geoff Sobelle and theater artist Charlotte Ford presented a post-apocalyptic absurdist tale of human extinction.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Cynthia Ling Lee is a contemporary choreographer who draws on both postmodern and North Indian classical kathak training in her dance making.