Russell Davis

2008 Pew Fellow

Russell Davis, 2008 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.

“Moments of grace or insight or good writing actually are dependent on a day-to-day process.”

Russell Davis (b. 1948) is a politically engaged playwright with a long and distinguished career. In his view, “what makes a play is language, is subtext, and how language can play off of silence, or unacknowledged emotions or intentions, and be the mere surface, the very tip, of what is going on. What makes a play are the choices of setting and lighting, the choices of actors and director, and how all these can come together sometimes in one huge and surprising whole.”

Davis’ plays include Cecilia’s Last Tea Party, Appointment with a High Wire Lady, Crispin: The Cross of Lead,* The Song of Grendelyn*, The Second Death of Pricilla, and The Thoughts & Travels of Nicki. They have been produced at various theaters, some of which include the Passage Theatre Company, Trenton, NJ; School House Theatre, Croton Falls, NY; Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, NY; People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, PA; and the Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem, PA. In 2004, Davis received a playwright fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and from 1999–2001, he was resident playwright at People’s Light & Theatre Company for the Theatre Residency Program of the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group. Davis received two earlier fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as grants from the McKnight Foundation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Aaron Cromie and Mary Tuomanen offer a sneak preview of their upcoming show, The Body Lautrec, in the galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Arden Theatre Company premieres a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, the culmination of a two-year exploration into the playwright and his work.

Grants & Grantees

An urban performing arts center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg Center presents touring theater, jazz, and world music.

As we near the end of 2015, we invited Center colleagues, collaborators, and grantees to share a memorable and inspiring cultural experience.

Grants & Grantees

Robert Smythe is a theater artist and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Thomas J. Lax was appointed associate curator of media and performance art at the Museum of Modern Art in May 2014. For the previous seven years, he worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Grants & Grantees

Emily Brown is a visual artist and a 2000 Pew Fellow.

We speak with Xavier—2013 Pew Fellow, hip-hop dancer, and Post-it aficionado—whose recent work The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance was hailed by Dance Magazine as “artful and mesmerizing.”

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Theatre Company is dedicated to producing contemporary American plays and has produced nearly 40 world premieres since 1975.

Grants & Grantees

This world premiere will integrate contingency—accident, chance, and improvisation—into the ensemble’s physical theater style, with live music by composer and Pew Fellow Bhob Rainey.

Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company takes Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity off-Broadway.

Saxophonist and Pew Fellow Matthew Levy on what motivates his multi-faceted practice as a musician, composer, and commissioner/producer of new music, his daily art-making routine, and more.