Christopher Chen

He // Him // His

[ID: Christopher, a playwright, gazes off-camera outside in New York during Play Company’s production of CAUGHT.]

San Francisco, CA
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Shawn M. Donnelley and Christopher M. Kelly, and Laura Donnelley/Good Works Foundation.

Christopher Chen is a San Francisco–based playwright whose works examine the hidden psychological patterns beneath complex systems of power. Chen combines naturalism and the absurd within shifting kaleidoscopic structures. His plays include Caught (Play Company, InterAct Theatre), The Headlands (LCT3/Lincoln Center), Passage (Soho Rep., Wilma Theater), The Hundred Flowers Project (Crowded Fire Theater), and You Mean to Do Me Harm (SF Playhouse). He has received a range of honors, including the Obie Award for Playwriting and the Barrymore Award (for Caught), the Will Glickman Award (for The Hundred Flowers Project), the Lanford Wilson Award, the Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellowship, and the inaugural Ollie Award. He is currently commissioned for work by the American Conservatory Theater, Audible, Cutting Ball Theater, Playwrights Horizons, the Wilma, and Portland Center Stage. Chen holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State University.

Portrait photo by Sasha Arutyunova.

  • Artwork by Christopher Chen
    Passage, 2019. Soho Rep., New York. Photo by Julieta Cervantes
    [ID: Two actresses sit on a circular stage, across from one another. Above the stage are rows of rectangular structures that emit soft pink light.]
  • Artwork by Christopher Chen
    Caught, 2019. Singapore Repertory Theatre. Photo courtesy Singapore Repertory Theatre.
    [ID: A group of people stand in a gallery space, watching as a man speaks into a microphone.]
Artwork by Christopher Chen Artwork by Christopher Chen