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.

AXIS Dance Company performed in residence at Montgomery County Community College, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Grants & Grantees

People’s Light is one of Pennsylvania’s largest professional nonprofit theaters and is known for its resident company of artists, eclectic mix of productions, and for innovative work with young people.

Grants & Grantees

This project allowed Cliveden to adaptively re-use Upsala (a historic home on the site of Cliveden) for office space and community programming.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2008, Tiny Dynamite presents theater works by contemporary British and Philadelphia playwrights in both traditional and unconventional settings.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Gaye Taylor Upchurch is a freelance director living in New York. She is an alumna of Women’s Project Directors Lab and the Drama League.

Questions of Practice

The founding artistic director of Portland, Oregon’s ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre, Rohd explains that some of his greatest artistic satisfactions result from an intentional “collision of brains.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

Eric Fredericksen is a Seattle-based curator and writer and the Art Program Manager for Waterfront Seattle, a project to rebuild the Seattle central waterfront. In 2015, Fredericksen served as an LOI panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news, President Obama nominates Pepón Osorio to the National Council on the Arts, Columbus State University announces plans to open the Bo Bartlett Center, and Jenny Sabin creates an installation for the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.

Grants & Grantees

Steven Donegan is a visual artist and a 1998 Pew Fellow.

Commissioned by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University with Center support, A Fierce Kind of Love is a new play by theater artists Suli Holum and David Bradley.

Grants & Grantees

Theater artist Geoff Sobelle honored his roots with a multilayered show about three magicians, simultaneously presented as a real magic show and a hoax.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Wendy Perron is a writer, dancer, choreographer, and editor-at-large of Dance Magazine. Perron is a former member of the Trisha Brown Company.