Pillsbury House Theatre’s mission is to co-create enduring change towards a just society through arts. 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.
We imagine thriving communities where creativity is the catalyst for building personal, social and economic power for all.
CREATIVITY: We believe in building bold, transformative solutions with our community.
JUSTICE: We believe equity comes from health, safety, quality education, and meaningful work.
RESILIENCE: We believe true resiliency in communities emerges from equitable systems, infrastructure, and social connectedness.
CONNECTION: We believe we are stronger together; we strive to always work in partnership.
KINDNESS: We believe positivity, empathy, and compassion are revolutionary acts.
Pillsbury House + Theatre would like to acknowledge that we are on unceded Dakota territory. The Dakota and Ojibwe people continue to live on this land, including the sovereign nations of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Chippewa, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Red Lake Nation, White Earth Nation, Lower Sioux Indian Community, Prairie Island Indian Community, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and Upper Sioux Community. These Indigenous people and more continue to live on this land despite the genocidal efforts and forced removal by the State of Minnesota and the United States Government. The approximately $3 million promised in the 1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, ceding Dakota land in southern and western Minnesota to the United States Government, has yet to be paid. The land we are on was, is, and will always be indigenous land.
The settlement house movement which gave rise to Pillsbury House Theatre has a history of erasure with respect to Native communities. In alignment with our mission to create challenging theatre that inspires enduring change towards a just society, Pillsbury House Theatre commits to continue including Indigenous voices, whether they be Dakota, Ojibwe, or any of the 30+ Indigenous Nations represented in the Twin Cities area and across the globe. We commit to working in partnership with, and providing resources and stage time for, Indigenous theatre makers and artists. We strive to support Indigenous voices at every opportunity and we ask you to commit to supporting the Indigenous people wherever you are.
Once upon a time, 140+ years ago, there was a Settlement House (Pillsbury House) which over decades of mergers morphed into a larger organization with multiple community centers (Pillsbury United Communities). Inside Pillsbury House was a 96-seat theatre, which an enterprising artist (Ralph Remington), built into a full-on professional theatre (Pillsbury House Theatre) in the early 90s. The theatre and community center operated separately but side by side for years, then merged operations in 2009 under artistic leadership (Co-Directors Faye M. Price and Noel Raymond) and became a professional arts/human service hybrid rebranded Pillsbury House + Theatre: a center for creativity and community. For the past 13 years, PH+T has been integrating artists/arts participation into all the human service programs in our building as well as out into the fabric of our neighborhood, towards a goal of increasing Access, Attachment and Agency. In 2021, a new but long-connected leader (Signe Harriday) joined PH+T and is helping expand to meet increasing artist and community needs/dreams.
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, as well as two weekends of performances by early career performance artists who have completed the Naked Stages Fellowship. 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 two McKnight Community Engaged Artist Fellows each year.
AWARDS AND HONORS
- Top Ten Actors of the Decade, Cast of the Brother/Sister Trilogy — Star Tribune
- Top Ten Plays of 2019, Blood Knot — Star Tribune
- Exceptional Overall Production, 2018 MN Theater Awards: ≈[almost equal to]
- Exceptional Ensemble Performance, 2018 MN Theater Awards: dat Black Mermaid Man Lady / The Show
- Exceptional Community Engagement, 2018 MN Theater Awards: Chicago Avenue Project
- Ivey Award Winner 2017, Performance, Nilaja Sun, Pike St.
- Ivey Award Winner 2017, Direction, Noel Raymond, The Children
- Faye Price and Noel Raymond named among 17 “Heroes of the Art Scene” — Star Tribune, 2014
- “Best Chemistry Between Actors,” Laura Esping & Aditi Kapil, in Gidion’s Knot — Lavender Magazine, 2014
- Top Five Best Plays of 2014, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet — Lavender Magazine
- Top Ten Plays of 2014, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet — Star Tribune
- Best Small Theater Venue of 2014 — Star Tribune
- 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 Pride — Lavender 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, Blackbird — City Pages
- Top Ten of 2008, Bulrusher — Lavender Magazine
- Top Ten of 2007, Home — Star Tribune
- Outstanding Direction 2007, Marion McClinton, Home — Star Tribune
- Best Theater for Drama 2006 — City Pages
- Best Small Theater 2004 — City Pages
- And more!
– Ideal Theatre: My Dear Miss Addams by Faye M. Price for Theatre Communications Group.