Ed Shockley attended high school at the prestigious St. Paul's School, followed by Columbia University and MFA studies as a Future Faculty Fellow at Temple University. He is the author of more than fifty plays, which have enjoyed both commercial and critical success. He is best known for the record-setting musicals Bessie Smith: Empress of the Blues and Bobos (co-authored with James McBride). Other notable works include The Liars' Contest (winner of the HBO New Writers Competition) and the stage adaptation of Mildred D. Taylor's Newbery Award-winning novel Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. He is the recipient of the Stephen Sondheim Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Musical Theatre, the $25,000 Richard Rodgers Award (presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the New Professional Theatre Writers Festival prize, the American Minority Playwrights contest prize, two Pennsylvania State Arts Council fellowships, the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Production Fellowship, and numerous other awards. Mr. Shockley has taught at many universities and schools, including New York University, Nassau Community College, St. Paul's School, and Temple University (Future Faculty Fellow), and he has coached thousands of authors through the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival and Young Writers Day lecture tours. Currently he is a senior lecturer at both University of the Arts and Rutgers University (Camden Campus), and is artistic director of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.