“I write about the America I see, and the America I want to see.”
James Ijames’ (b. 1981) plays and devised works examine how class and gender intersect with race, often drawing inspiration from historical texts, the media, and stories of his own family. His work deconstructs history and its established figures, as well as narrative itself, challenging the conventions of realism and received collective truth. A founder of the Orbiter 3 playwright collective, established in 2014 to foster sustainable modes of new play development, his work is defined by empathy and social engagement. Currently, Ijames is developing an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, investigating the wealth gap, minimum wage, and gender parity through hands-on research at a local fast food restaurant. A 2010 Independence Foundation Fellow, Ijames is also the recipient of the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, and three Barrymore Awards for acting and direction. Upcoming and recent plays include WHITE (in development with InterAct Core Writers Group), Moon Man Walk (Orbiter 3), and The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (Flashpoint Theatre Company). He has been commissioned by the National Constitution Center and the Arden Theatre Company, and is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University.
In 2000 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 47 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.
Historic Germantown is a collaborative of 15 historic houses, museums, and landscapes in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The sites have worked together for decades, gradually building their collective capacity in both infrastructure and interpretation.
Poet Afaa Michael Weaver publishes a new book of poetry, visual artist Alex Da Corte’s video installation Blue Moon is projected on Times Square billboards, and filmmaker Cheryl Hess receives a 2016 Tribeca Documentary Grant.
This month in Fellows Friday news: King Britt is named a 2014 SPACES resident at the Village of Arts & Humanities, Marshall Allen celebrates Sun Ra’s 100th Birthday, and much more.
In 2003 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 63 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.
Composer and Pew Fellow Andrea Clearfield on what inspired her to dedicate her first opera to the life of an 11th-century Tibetan yogi, the influence of composer Margaret Garwood on her practice, and more.
Praised by The New York Times for his “alluring, emotive” work, composer Lembit Beecher creates intimate and dramatically potent musical experiences.
A multidisciplinary theater artist whose practice is rooted in set design, Matt Saunders answers our questions on inspiration, artistic legacy, and more.
Zeena Parkins is a pioneer of contemporary harp practice and performance, has extended the language of the harp with unusual playing techniques, preparations, and layers of electronic processing.
A multiple Grammy Award winner, Robert Page is the Paul Mellon University Professor of Music Emeritus in the School of Music and coordinator of the opera program.
Dr. Emil Kang serves as executive director for the arts at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a post created in 2005 to help unify and elevate the performing arts at the university.
David Scott Kessler’s (Pew Fellow, 2015) work combines film, installation, writing, performance, and drawing in a constantly-shifting exploration of place.