Pillsbury House Theatre announces Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence Award for Christina M. Ham


(Minneapolis, MN) On March 23, 2016, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York awarded a three year, $197,000 playwright residency grant to support a new full-time position for Minneapolis playwright Christina M. Ham at Pillsbury House Theatre through June 30, 2019. Her play Scapegoat will premiere at PHT during the 2016 season.

Christina will write two new plays that PHT will produce during her residency. As a member of the artistic staff she will work with PHT foundation programs such as the Chicago Avenue Project and Naked Stages, assist in the curation and development of new plays and serve as a teaching artist to PHT participants.

“It’s important to be able to provide playwrights with a place they can call home, a place where they can practice their craft and feel that artistically, someone has their back,” observes Co-Artistic Director Faye Price. “We are so thrilled that Christina Ham now has an artistic home with Pillsbury House Theatre. We are looking forward to having her on staff as an extraordinary artist, as an invested stakeholder in the theater, and as a resource for our various communities.” Christina M. Ham says “I am so grateful to the Andrew Mellon Foundation for providing me with this tremendous support—to not only do the work, but to allow me the opportunity to not just dream…but dream big.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.



Christina M. Ham’s play, Nina Simone: Four Women, directed by Faye M. Price, was recently presented at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, MN. Her plays have been developed both nationally and internationally with the Center Theater Group, Goodman Theater, Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Off-Broadway at the SPF Summer Play Festival, SteppingStone Theatre, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival, among others. Christina is the recipient of a McKnight Advancement Grant and Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the Marianne Murphy Women & Philanthropy Award in Playwriting, and a 2006 MacDowell Residency. She is a two-time nominee for the Cherry Lane Theatre Mentorship Program, a nominee for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and was nominated for the 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 Red Eye Theater, among others. Her feature-length screenplay Booker was a finalist for Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access program. Her plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Heinemann, PlayScripts, Inc., and Smith and Kraus. A graduate of the University of Southern California and UCLA’s M.F.A. Playwriting program, Christina is a Core Writer of the Playwrights’ Center and a member playwright of the Workhaus Collective and the Dramatists Guild of America.

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