Christina Ham at Pillsbury House Theatre


Christina Ham's plays have been developed and produced both nationally and internationally with the Kennedy Center, Center Theater Group, The Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Goodman Theater, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, by Tony Award winning producer Arielle Tepper Madover off-Broadway at Theater Row, SteppingStone Theatre, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival, among many others. Her children’s play Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 was directed by Tony Award winning actress Phylicia Rashad and performed in front of a sold-out audience at the Kennedy Center to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. It was simultaneously presented and/or produced in forty-seven states across the country on the same day with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Attorney General Eric Holder conducting the post-show discussion in Birmingham in addition to streaming worldwide. Her children’s musical Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges was the best-selling show in the history of St. Paul's SteppingStone Theatre. Christina is a two-time recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting and a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the Marianne Murphy Women & Philanthropy Award in Playwriting, a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Collaboration Grant, and a MacDowell Colony Residency. She is the recent recipient of a 2015 Travel and Study Grant from the Jerome Foundation where she will travel to Dublin, Ireland and work with The Abbey Theatre for her new play Niagara that looks at the parallels between the Irish and Harlem Renaissances. Most recently she was a nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play Scapegoat that was also included in the 2014 and 2015 editions of The List compiled by The Kilroys and described in the New York Times as “one of the most excellent new plays by female-identified authors of last year,” and she’s been nominated for Center Theater Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award for Distinguished Emerging Theater Artist. She has received commissions from The Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Park Square Theatre, among many others. Her feature 626 Broadway was a semi-finalist for Paramount Pictures’ Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project and her feature Booker was a finalist for Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access program. Her plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Heinemann, PlayScripts, Inc., Smith and Kraus, and featured in the Special Collections of the Literature and Fiction Department at the Central Library in Los Angeles as part of their Audrey Skirball-Kenis Play Collection as one of 800 unpublished plays that were produced in Los Angeles. Christina is a former member of the Workhaus Collective, an ensemble of nationally known Minneapolis-based playwrights who have been producing innovative and highly theatrical work in the Twin Cities since 2006 as the company-in-residence at the Playwrights' Center. She is the Program Coordinator for the Many Voices Fellowship Program at the Playwrights' Center where she's mentored emerging playwrights of color for the last nine years. She is also a professor of black theater history and playwriting at Augsburg College. A graduate of the University of Southern California and a MFA in Playwriting from The UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television where she was a Graduate Opportunity Fellow, Christina is a Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center, and a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.


Pillsbury House Theatre’s mission is to create challenging theatre that inspires choice, change, and connection.  Founded in 1992, Pillsbury House Theatre (PHT) was launched as a professional arts institution committed to the Settlement House tradition of creating art in collaboration with community.  PHT is an integral part of Pillsbury United Communities, a large and respected human service agency that provides essential services and support to core city Minneapolis neighborhoods.  As such, PHT is a unique and successful example of a professional theatre that operates within a broader social mission to serve and expand opportunities for underserved, diverse and low-income communities.  PHT upholds the tradition of the arts as essential to the life of all communities and emphasizes developing diverse new artistic voices who reflect our community.  

How has this residency changed the theatre, and how has this residency changed the playwright? — March 2018

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Why Christina Ham? Why Pillsbury House Theatre?

29 July 2016

Faye Price and Noël Raymond, Co-Artistic Directors of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota and playwright-in-residence Christina Ham discuss their participation in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program.