Christopher Baker is a dramaturg, playwright, producer, director, author and teacher with 30 years' experience in regional, Off-Broadway, and academic theatre. He has worked with a diverse array of artists, including Elizabeth Ashley, Anne Bogart, Gregory Boyd, Olympia Dukakis, Eve Ensler, Horton Foote, David Grimm, Quiara Hudes, Michael Kahn, William Luce, Andrew McCarthy, Kate Mulgrew, Jose Quintero, Reno, Andrei Serban, Hana Sharif, Bart Sher, Darko Tresnak, Michael Wilson and Robert Wilson. From 1998 to 2013 he was a member of the artistic staff at Hartford Stage, serving in various capacities, including Associate Artistic Director, Associate Producer and Senior Dramaturg.
Chris' recent work as a dramaturg includes the North American premiere and tour of David Seidler's The King's Speech, Horton Foote's The Roads to Home at Primary Stages, Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana at the American Repertory Theater and the premiere of Milan Dragicevich's Refugee at the University of Massachusetts. He was also the dramaturg for Williams' The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and Foote's The Orphans’ Home Cycle, both produced at Hartford Stage and then Off-Broadway. He has been a dramaturg at Hartford Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company and the Alley Theatre. Recently he was chair of the selection committee of the prestigious Horton Foote Playwriting Prize.
Chris' adaptation of Pride and Prejudice broke box office records at the Repertpry Theater of St. Louis in December 2019. Produced at schools and theaters across the United States and Canada, Pride and Prejudice is published by Broadway Publishing Company and premiered at Center Stage in Baltimore. His play The Lincoln Vaudeville was produced at the Hartt School (2019) and Trinity College (2018) and was workshopped at Center Stage, Baltimore. His play for children, Calliope Jam, premiered at the Alley Theatre under his own direction.
Chris is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dramaturgy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has taught at the Hartt School, Moscow Art Theatre School and the International School of the Philippines and served as a literary advisor to the Julliard School of Drama.
Chris has directed numerous productions, including the short operas The Gold Standard, Krispy Kremes and Butter Queens and The Lifespan of a Fly at Hartford Opera Theatre, Oleanna at the Alley Theatre, Orestes at the University of North Carolina and remounts of A Christmas Carol and Beauty and the Beast, both originally directed by Michael Wilson.
His books Shakespeare in an Hour and Molière in an Hour are published by Smith and Kraus and his account of Robert Wilson's production of Danton's Death, for which he was the dramaturg, is featured in the book The Production Notebooks. Chris is also a contributor to the books African American Connecticut Explored and The Lively ART and his articles have appeared in Breaking Character magazine, Theatre Journal, Hog River Journal, American Theatre magazine and the Hartford Courant .
Education & Personal
Chris received a BS from Northwestern University and an MFA from the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard/Moscow Art Theatre School, where he received the Janus Award. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America, He lives in Massachusetts with his wife—a director, actress and teacher—and three children.