Christine Chambers, 39, Dies; Her Photos Empowered Actors of Color


Christine Jean Chambers was born on Sept. 8, 1980, in Northampton, Mass. Her father, John Walker Chambers, taught sociology, first at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then at Greenfield Community College. He later became a social worker. Her mother, Molly (Pratt) Chambers, was a therapist and social worker.

In addition to her sister, Ms. Chambers is survived by her parents and her brother, John Chambers.

At Wilbraham and Monson Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts, she was a member of the Academy Repertory Company and Academy Players and appeared in productions of plays as varied as “Cabaret” and “The Trojan Women.” She graduated in 1999.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia in 2004 and studied for her master’s of fine arts in playwriting at Columbia.

Over the last decade, she wrote several plays that explored what it meant to be biracial.

“So much of her identity was about living in this in-between world, where she wasn’t black and wasn’t white,” Ms. Girod said. “That space in between was important to her; it’s the space that defined who she was.”

Her plays, staged at small theaters in New York, include “Half Brothers,” about a man who becomes executor of his father’s estate and meets his two half brothers for the first time, and “The Eternal Return,” about a black couple examining their failed relationship.

In her play “One Quarter,” a multiethnic woman, Sarah, considers what her relationship might have been like with a daughter she lost when she had a miscarriage. With a half-black mother and a white father, that daughter would have been one-quarter black.

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