History and Mission

MISSION

Pillsbury House Theatre’s mission is to create challenging theatre to inspire choice, change and connection. Through the mainstage season and other community engagement programs, Pillsbury House Theatre (PHT) illuminates the differences that make each person unique and the similarities that bring people together, within an artistic environment that promotes understanding and leads to positive action.

HISTORY

Pillsbury House Theatre was launched by Ralph Remington in 1992 as a professional arts institution committed to the Settlement House tradition of creating art in collaboration with community. Housed within an urban community center in the most diverse neighborhood in Minnesota, the theatre is a company of artists working in partnership with diverse audiences to create transformational arts experiences. As part of Pillsbury United Communities, a large and respected human service agency committed to building relationships to strengthen the core city, PHT upholds the tradition that the arts an integral part of all healthy communities.

In 2000, Noel Raymond and Faye Price became co-artistic directors of the theatre. In 2008, they also became co-Center Directors of Pillsbury House, planning and working to integrate the arts into all aspects of the human services from Early Childhood Education and truancy prevention to the afterschool and summer camp programs.

ABOUT US

The Mainstage Season consists of three productions per year with a focus on high-quality, contemporary scripts that confront diverse issues in an urban context; three rosters of Non-English Speaking Spoken Here: The Late Nite Series; and two weekends of performances by emerging performance artists in Naked Stages. Now in its 23rd season, PHT has garnered great critical acclaim for its provocative staging of both classical texts by celebrated playwrights and more and more new work by emerging artists.

The theatre’s innovative and award-winning community engagement programs include Breaking Ice and the Chicago Avenue Project. Breaking Ice is a multi-racial, socio-political improvisational theatre program that has developed performances and workshops for schools, corporations and community groups since 1996 around issues such as racism, homophobia, sexism, and domestic violence. The program has both an adult performing company and a youth arm, which creates peer education shows around issues such as tobacco-use and violence prevention. The Chicago Avenue Project, based on the 52nd Street Project, is a theatre-mentoring program that brings youth together with adult, professional artists to create original theatre.

We also support the Hennepin County Home School Project and facilitate artist residencies in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Best Theater of 2013 — City Pages
  • 2012 Sally Award Winner for Initiative
  • Top Ten Plays of 2012, The Brothers Size — Star Tribune
  • Top Ten Twin Cities Plays of 2012, Buzzer — Twin Cities Daily Planet and Star Tribune
  • #1 Show of 2011, In the Red and Brown Water (co-production with The Mount Curve Company in the Dowling Studio of the Guthrie) — City Pages and Star Tribune
  • Top Ten of 2011, The PrideLavender Magazine and Cherry and Spoon Blog
  • Top Ten of 2010, Pa’s Hat — Star Tribune
  • Ivey Award Winner 2009, Performance, Sonja Parks, No Child
  • 2008 Non-Profit Mission Award for Anti-Racism Initiative, Breaking Ice
  • #1 Show of 2008, BlackbirdCity Pages
  • Top Ten of 2008, BulrusherLavender Magazine
  • Top Ten of 2007, HomeStar Tribune
  • Outstanding Direction 2007, Marion McClinton, HomeStar Tribune
  • Best Theater for Drama 2006 — City Pages
  • Best Small Theater 2004 – City Pages
  • And more!