Villanova Theatre Professor Receives Prestigious Pew Center Fellowship

James Ijames

Villanova, Pa. – James Ijames, MFA, assistant professor of Theatre in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, has been awarded a $75,000 Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Fellowship. 

Ijames is one of only ten Fellows selected this year by the Pew Center. The Fellowship will allow the Philadelphia-based playwright to continue his work of writing and devising works. His works examine how class and gender intersect with race, drawing inspiration from historical texts, the media, and stories of his own family to deconstruct history and its established figures, while challenging the conventions of realism. 

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage is a multidisciplinary grant-maker dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The fellowships provide artists with economic freedom and to develop their work more fully. The program aims to provide support at moments in an artist’s career when it is most likely to have the greatest impact on the artist’s long-term professional development. Fellowships are awarded to practitioners in a wide range of media and aesthetic traditions and at critical stages in their career development, from early to mature

In 2011, Ijames received an Independence Foundation Fellowship in Performing Arts, as well as the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist. Ijames has won two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play, as well as a Barrymore Award for Best Direction of a Play. His play “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” received its world premiere last year with Flashpoint Theater and his play “Moon Man Walk” is premiering this summer with Orbiter 3 Playwright Collective.  

At Villanova, Ijames teaches on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His courses include acting, scene study, and collaborative theatre making. He received his MFA in Acting from Temple University.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.