The year is 1966 and the remnants of the Watts Riots are still smoldering against the backdrop of South Central Los Angeles. When a mysterious woman stumbles into the office of private eye Thelma Higgins (Austene Van) looking to warn her husband (Harry Waters Jr) that his life might be in danger, she soon discovers that the man she’s been married to for ten years is not who he claims to be. As her investigation leads her on a tangled trail of deceit, corruption, and treacherous backroom deals, she and her husband must learn to trust one another again to find out who’s trying to kill him and why. This fast-paced noir explores the racial tensions that arose from the ashes of the Riots and the local political treachery that creates the racial fissures that fracture us.
West of Central
By Christina Ham
Directed by Hayley Finn
September 14 – October 14
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Sundays at 3 PM
ASL-Interpreted Performance: Friday, September 28
Audio Described Performance: Thursday, October 4
Click here for tickets.
About Christina Ham:
Christina’s plays have been developed and produced both nationally and internationally with the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Center Theater Group, The Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Goodman Theater, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Tony Award winning producer Arielle Tepper Madover off-Broadway at Theater Row, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival among many others. Her theater for young audiences 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 in 47 states across the country and streamed worldwide to commemorate the bombing with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Attorney General Eric Holder conducting the post-show discussion in Birmingham.
Her theater for young audiences 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 MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and a previous nominee for Center Theater Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award for Distinguished Emerging Theater Artist. She has received commissions from the Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, and Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among many others. Her plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Heinemann, PlayScripts, Inc., Smith and Kraus, and Oberon Books.
She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and holds an 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. She is currently a Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Pillsbury House Theatre and a writer on the Netflix horror series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
West of Central is produced with the support of the Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program administered in partnership with HowlRound.
Community Partner: Mapping Prejudice
Mapping Prejudice is a team of geographers, historians, digital humanists and community activists seeking to expose structural racism in Minneapolis. Mapping Prejudice is building a map that shows how racial restrictions were embedded in the physical landscape of our community, unearthing racial covenants in Hennepin County property deeds. Their work reveals how much of the local land was reserved for the exclusive use of white people for most of the twentieth century. Read more about the work Mapping Prejudice is doing at mappingprejudice.org.