Ron Himes is the Founder and Producing Director of the Saint Louis Black Repertory Company and the Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University. The Black Rep has developed a national reputation for staging quality productions from an African-American perspective. He founded the company in 1976 while still a student at Washington University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. The Black Rep began touring to other college campuses and, in 1981, found a home in the former sanctuary of the Greely Presbyterian Church in north St. Louis City, which the company converted and renamed the 23rd Street Theatre. In 1991, after a multi-million dollar renovation, the company moved into the former First Congregation Church building, located in the heart of the Grand Center arts and education district in midtown, renaming it the Grandel Square Theatre.
He has produced and directed more than 200 plays at The Black Rep, including all ten plays written by August Wilson. His Black Rep directing credits include: Spell #7, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Nina Simone; Four Women, Canfield Drive, Dot, Lines In The Dust, Twisted Melodies, Sunset Baby, Purlie, Black Nativity: A Holiday Celebration, the critically acclaimed productions of Ruined and The Montford Point Marine. Himes also created and directed the highly acclaimed, Crossin’ Over and Tell Me Somethin’ Good. He has directed a number of world premieres including Torn Asunder, Smash/Hit!, Insidious, Home the Musical, Servant of the People, Riffs and Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms. Directing credits from theatres across the country include Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Fences (The Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville); The Colored Museum and Blues for an Alabama Sky (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Flyin’ West (Delaware Theatre Company); For Colored Girls.........(People’s Light and Theatre Company in Philadelphia); Riffs (Seven Stages in Atlanta); Spunk, Spell #7 and Radio Golf (Studio Theatre in Washington, DC); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I’m Not Rappaport (Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, IA); and An Enemy of the People (Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, AK). University and College credits include: Crumbs From The Table Of Joy and Our Town, (University of Southern Indiana in Evansville);Intimate Apparel, (University of Indiana in Bloomington); You Can’t Take It With You, (University of Wisconsin in Madison); The Championship Season and The Dance on Widow’s Row, (Dillard University in New Orleans); Three Ways Home (University of Illinois in Champaign); The Darker Face of the Earth (University of South Carolina in Columbia); Blues for Mr. Charlie, Hairspray, Ragtime, The Lion and The Jewel and Trojan Women (Washington University in St. Louis).
Ron Himes acting credits include The Black Rep’s production of Two Trains Running (Holliway), Fences (Troy), for which he won The St. Louis Theater Circle Award in 2019 for Outstanding Achievement as an Actor in a Drama, Seven Guitars, Sunset Baby, The Whipping Man, On Golden Pond, Romeo and Juliet, Death and the King’s Horseman, Boesman and Lena and Gem of the Ocean, which was featured at the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Additional credits include King in King Hedley II, Banquo in Macbeth, Herald Loomis in Joe Turner’s Come And Gone, Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil, for which he won the Woodie Award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role, and Blind Jordan in Sty of the Blind Pig, Booster in Jitney, /Malcolm X in The Meeting and When The Chickens Come Home to Roost. He created the role of Joe Lee in Conversations On A Dirt Road. His acting credits in other St. Louis theatres include HotCity, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and The Muny.
In 2003, Himes was appointed the first Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University, a joint appointment of the Performing Arts Department, African and African American Studies. In 2010 he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the third World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures in Dakar, Senegal and he has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2013 Outstanding Organization of The Year Award from 100 Black Men and The Citizen of The Year Award from the Gateway Classic Foundation, 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from University College at Washington University, St. Louis 2004 Heroes Pierre Laclede Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Arts & Education Council in 2001; Creative Artist Award, The Better Family Life in 1997; Woodie Award for Outstanding Direction, the St. Louis Black Repertory Company’; and Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1993, and from Washington University in 1997 and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Life and Legacy Award from the National Pan-Hellenic Alumni Council.
Himes has served on boards, panels, and advisory councils for a number of arts organizations, including the United States Artists, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Theodore Ward Playwriting Awards, National Endowment for the Arts; the John F. Kennedy Center; the Arts and Humanities Commission, the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education; the Missouri Arts Council; the Regional Arts Commission; the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis; the Regional Commerce and Growth Association; the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation; and the Midwest African-American Arts Alliance.