Daniel Banks: Director & Choreographer
"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 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)
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, Award Winning Playwright
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 Will Smith, Ali, and August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean with Phylicia Rashad, Mark Taper Forum.
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 that 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