"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.