Christopher Shinn is a playwright and part-time assistant professor at the New School, where he teaches graduate playwriting. His theatre work explores the uniqueness of individual psyches as they intersect with the social, political, and economic challenges of their time. His most recent play, Against, premiered in London in 2017 and starred Ben Whishaw as a tech visionary who, amid personal crisis, undertakes a nationwide mission to awaken America to its addiction to violence.
During his fellowship, Shinn is investigating the history of disability representation in the theatre from the ancient Greeks onwards and will further explore disability from psychoanalytic, critical theory, and historical perspectives. Ultimately, this will be in service of a new play which will center the highly specific experience of disability, yet be written in such a way as to maximize the ability of actors with disabilities of all kinds to perform in it. The proposed play carries both artistic and practical aims in its investigation of disability, and the fellowship will allow Shinn’s academic and creative work to inform one another.
Shinn is a former Guggenheim Fellow (2005) and received an Obie Award in playwriting. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and on the shortlist for the Evening Standard Theatre Award for best play.