Daniel Banks, Ph.D., is a theatre director, choreographer, educator, and dialogue facilitator. He has worked extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having directed at such notable venues as the National Theatre of Uganda (Kampala), the Belarussian National Drama Theatre (Minsk), The Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (New York and Washington, D.C.), the Oval House (London), and served as choreographer/movement director for productions at New York Shakespeare Festival/Shakespeare in the Park, Singapore Repertory Theatre, La Monnaie/De Munt (Brussels), Landestheater (Saltzburg), Aaron Davis Hall (Harlem), and for Maurice Sendak/The Night Kitchen. Daniel has served on the faculties of the Department of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and the MFA in Contemporary Performance at Naropa University, and is the founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative that uses Hip Hop Theatre to promote youth self-expression and leadership training. HHTI has worked on campuses and in communities across the U.S. and in Ghana, South Africa, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Israel, and Mexico. He is a long-time advisor in the Gallatin School for Individualized Studies and on the Founding Board of the Hip Hop Education Center in the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education in the Steinhardt School, both at NYU. He is currently on the faculty of the M.A. in Applied Theatre at City University of NY.
Daniel is a 2011 Ariane de Rothschild Fellow and a past recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors. He is Co-Director of Theatre Without Borders, a founding member of the Acting Together project in the Program for Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University, sits on the Editorial Board of No Passport Press, and is on the Advisory Board of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. He has guest lectured extensively, at such institutions as: SUNY Stony Brook, University of California-Riverside, Stanford University, Brandeis University, University of Western Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Central Florida, and University of Florida-Gainesville, University of New Mexico, Rhodes College; and has been a Guest Artist at Williams College, City College of New York, Marymount Manhattan College, and the National Theatre Conservatory, Denver. He holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU. Publications include “Unperforming ‘Race’: Strategies for Re-imagining Identity” in A Boal Companion: Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics (edited by Mady Schutzman and Jan Cohen-Cruz, Routledge, 2006); “Youth Leading Youth: Hip Hop and Hiplife Theatre in Ghana and South Africa” in Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, Vol 2, a project of the Coexistence Project, Brandeis University, and Theatre Without Borders (New Village Press); “The Question of Cultural Diplomacy: Acting Ethically,” Theatre Topics; “From Homer to Hip Hop: Orature and Griots, Ancient and Present,” Classical World; and “Re-Thinking Non-Traditional Casting,” Black Masks. He is editor of the recently released critical anthology of Hip Hop Theatre plays Say Word!: Voices from Hip Hop Theater for the University of Michigan Press.