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movement direction.choreography


coming soon!



Daniel Banks has directed at such venues as National Theatre of Uganda; Belarussian National Drama Theatre; Market Theatre, South Africa; Playhouse Square, Cleveland; Bay Area Playwrights Festival; NYC and DC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals; Oval House and Teatro Technis (London); Bishop Arts Theatre Center (Dallas); and HERE Arts Center, Queens Theater in the Park, The Public Theater, and John Houseman Theatre (NYC). He worked as choreographer/movement director at Shakespeare in the Park/NY Shakespeare Festival, Theatre for a New Audience, Maurice Sendak’s The Night Kitchen, Singapore Rep, and La Monnaie (Brussels).


Daniel is the co-director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to dialogue and healing through the arts, engaging topics of representation, identity and heritage. Current projects: The Real James Bond…Was Dominican by/with Christopher Rivas (touring); Dreaming Emmett by Toni Morrison, a lost play about Emmett Till that has not been produced since 1986; and The Secret Sharer (recipient of the 2019 MAP Fund Award), an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella, considered an early LGBTQ text, exploring fragility, tenderness, and intimacy in times of personal duress and societal discrimination.


Daniel served on the dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown & Dancers (Black Girl: Linguistic Play and ink). He is founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, promoting youth self-expression and leadership. He is Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders and was a recipient of the Sallie B. Goodman Retreat at McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ. Daniel is editor of Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater and co-editor of Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative. He is the recipient of Theatre Communication Group's 2020 Alan Schneider Director Award and twice recipient of "400 Most Influential People" in Fort Worth, TX.


Daniel is one of my favorite artists. As a director, he brings a profound understanding of passion, history, community, and action. He staged my play with such skill & vision,

I'm still inspired by that production several years later.  As a mentor, his guidance is invaluable. As an educator, he empowers his students to create from the heart

with a sense of purpose, intellect, determination. #teamdaniel


- Christina Anderson, Playwright

One of the best things about working with Daniel as a director was his seemingly effortless leadership. He explained dramaturgy in simple language and didn’t boggle down my overloaded brain that was trying to tell a story and keep it on track. His approach to telling a story validates identity and defines playwriting as an individualized craft so that the playwright can take ownership of it. 

For example, Daniel begins the process of developing new work by insisting
he and the playwright sit down, one on one, and read the play aloud.
This reading 
lifted anxieties and vulnerability because it established the kind of
trust and security that I needed to move forward with an intense drama that put
gay Chicano
men on stage. Together we addressed and readdressed the
elements of my play so that
I could better develop my style and
techniques to get to the core of what
I was saying and have it be heard.


-  Law Chavez, winner of the 2011 National Latino Playwrights Award,

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Daniel Banks is this generation's Peter Brook and Lloyd Richards wrapped into one. Banks' directorial genius is steeped in humanity and a purposeful reality. 


- Denise Woods, Voice/Dialect Coach for August Wilson's 
Gem of the Ocean 
with Phylicia Rashad, Mark Taper Forum

Daniel Banks directed me in a one-man show, Corpus Christi, which we developed and worked on for quite some time together. Daniel is both a superlative teacher AND director, and to this day that experience sticks with me as one of the most deeply meaningful and growth-filled creative endeavors I have had. This is largely due to Daniel and his God-given gift for working with student actors and helping to bring forth from within them that which they did not know they possessed. His influence and special talent helped tremendously to prepare me for life as a working actor, and it is not hyperbole to say that I credit my experience working with him for much of what has led to my significant (if relatively modest) successes thus far professionally.


- Daniel Sunjata, "Paul Briggs" in Graceland (USA Network) and 

Macduff in Macbeth (Lincoln Center Theatre, opposite Ethan Hawke)


press. & publications.


Review, The Real James Bond...Was Dominican, The Column, 2019 

Review, The Real James Bond...Was DominicanTheatreJones, 2019

"Small Is Beautiful" in American Theatre, 2019

Review, Hollow Roots, TheatreJones, 2018

"Combining Culture and Community," SDC Journal Winter 2013

Review, HaMapah/The Map, TimesUnion, 2012

In Dance, A Map for Discussing Identity by Tresca Weinstein, Times Union, Albany, 2012

“Global Spotlight: Baku, Azerbaijan” by Nicole Estvanik Taylor, American Theatre, 2011

"We Will Not Stop Dancing" by Micah Kelber, Forward, 2010

“Mainstream Remix: Frank Talk about Casting, Training and Presenting Actors and Works of Color,” American Theatre, 2008

“Join the Hip Hop Revolution,” Southern Theatre, 2008

"Hip Hop Theater's Future and ID," Washington Square News, 2008

Hip Hop Theatrical by Adrienne Sichel, The Star, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2006

Bling, or Revolution, American Theatre, July-August 2004

“Hip Hop Workshop Battles Stereotypes,” The Charleston Gazette, 2004

Six World Theatre Practitioners, American Theatre, May-June 2002

Review of Yankl der ShmidNew York Times, 1998

Bosoms and Neglect Reviews, London, 1992



Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative, co-edited by Claire Syler and Daniel Banks, Routledge 2019

"Hip Hop as Pedagogy: Something from Something" in Theatre Topics (Vol. 25), 2015.

​"The Welcome Table: Casting for an Integrated Society" in Theatre Topics (Vol. 23), 2013.

​“The Question of Cultural Diplomacy: Acting Ethically” in Theatre Topics, 2011.

​“Youth Leading Youth: Hip Hop and Hiplife Theatre in Ghana and South Africa” in Acting Together: Performance and
Creative Transformation of Conflict, vol 2, New Village Press, 2011.

​Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater, a critical anthology edited by Daniel Banks,University of Michigan Press, 2011. 


​“From Homer to Hip Hop: Orature and Griots, Ancient and Present” in Classical World, 2010.

​“Hip Hop Theatre: A Call for Change” for Conflict Transformation Using Theatre, A Training Manual for
War Child Holland
, 2009.


​“How Hiplife Theatre Was Born in Ghana” in American Theatre, 2008.


​“Unperforming ‘Race’: Strategies for Reimagining Identity” in A Boal Companion, Routledge 2006.

“Refugees in Ghana Find Their Voice in Hip Hop Culture” in Service Matters, 2006.


“Re-Thinking Non-Traditional Casting” in Black Masks, 2003.



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