Christopher L. Harris

Professor of Theatre
Specialty: Scene Designer, Scene Design and Theatre Production

Chris is currently Professor of Theatre and Resident Scene Designer at Willamette University, where he has been teaching for twenty-seven years. Prior to that he taught for seven years at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Former President of the Oak Park Festival Theatre in Chicago, Chris Harris has designed over two hundred and fifty productions and his work has been seen in London, Toronto, New York, St. Louis, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon. Included in these are the American Professional Premieres of The Rover, Barnaby Sweet, The Sickness of Youth in Chicago; Father Dreams in St. Louis, and Picasso In The Back Seat in Portland. His design and production work has received recognition in design competitions, Jeff Award nominations in Chicago, and Meritorious Achievement Awards for design from the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. In Portland he has designed for New Rose productions of Never In My Lifetime; and Death And The King's Horseman; the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center production of When Will I Dance?; the Artists Repertory Theatre production of Picasso In The Back Seat; the Oregon Stage Company production of Cobb; and Between Two Worlds, The Reluctant Dragon, and an award winning Pinocchio at Tears of Joy Theatre. Chris has also worked on local films; he was Assistant Art director on Without Evidence, and Set Decorator on A Life In Twelve Words.

He received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Leeds in England. He was selected as an English Speaking Union scholar for theatre study in the U.S.A., receiving an M.F.A. in scene and costume design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chris is especially interested in designing and creating for performances in non-traditional theatre spaces. He has designed for performances which have been seen in several parks, prison and school gymnasia, churches, exposition halls, a parking ramp, train stations and other "found" spaces. He has also designed several art installations - Protection... Entrapment a presentation/installation of recent sculpture at the Arena Theatre at Willamette University, and The Dybbuk Project seen as part of the 1997 Portland International Performance Festival, at Gallery 114, and later at Willamette University.

He re-designed a touring version of Between Two Worlds (The Dybbuk), sets and costumes for The Reluctant Dragon, and an award winning Pinocchio for Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre (, which is to be re-staged in November 2011. With friend and collaborator Michael Griggs, he conceived and co-wrote a production called Mysteries of the Heart a theatre piece for actors and figures, which was produced by Hand2Mouth Theatre in Portland in 2005. (

He has been a member of the Board of Directors for Partnerships in Community Living, [] providing assisted living services for people with developmental disabilities for the past twenty years. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Tears of Joy Theatre.[]

Recently Chris has taken the position of Art Director for Cerberus Books, and contributed to recently released books, an enhanced re-printing of The Swish of The Kris, Jungle Patrol, and Arrows Against Steel by Vic Hurley. []

On-line portfolio: