Daniel Banks, who runs DNAWORKS and is currently based in Fort Worth, has won the 2020 Alan Schneider Director Award. You can read the news release below. An article in American Theatre magazine is here; and his acceptance speech is in the video above. Banks and DNAWORKS are working on a piece about the lynching of Fred Rouse in the 1921 in Fort Worth.
Here's the news release:
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, proudly announces that Daniel Banks has been awarded the Alan Schneider Director Award. The Award was established in honor of Alan Schneider's significant contribution to theatre in the U.S. and his lifelong commitment to the development of career opportunities for freelance directors. It is designed to identify and assist exceptionally talented mid-career freelance directors whose achievements have been demonstrated through work in specific U.S. regions or territories, but who may not be known more widely or recognized nationally.
“Daniel Banks exemplifies the civic and artistic leadership that will bring us through the pain of this pandemic to a more vibrant and just theatre ecosystem on the other side,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG. “His commitment to theatre as a path to healing and cultural exchange has touched the lives of so many here in the U.S. and globally.”
“Daniel Banks is inspiring and creating circles of inclusion,” said Ty Defoe, artist. “He models this movement not by uplifting the westernized, Eurocentric model of making American theatre; but instead, by truly stewarding a community of sharing, healing, and cross-cultural communication between actors, designers, and even the institution of theatre hosting.”
Daniel Banks’ acceptance speech, with an introduction from Ty Defoe, can be found here.
Recent recipients of the Alan Schneider Director Award include: May Adrales (2018), Kimberly Senior (2016), Liesl Tommy (2014), Bart DeLorenzo (2012), and Anne Kauffman (2010). For a full history of the award, click here.
Daniel Banks is a director and deviser with roots in movement theatre and new play development. Credits include: Jitney by August Wilson, National Theatre of Uganda (African premiere); Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz, Belarusian National Drama Theatre (Eastern European premiere); Blurring Shine by Zakiyyah Alexander, Market Theatre Lab, South Africa; Tap Into Peace, concept/choreography by Ayodele Casel and Sarah Savelli, Playhouse Square, Cleveland; Deep/Azure by Chadwick Boseman, DC Hip Hop Theatre Festival at Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C; Bosoms and Neglect by John Guare, Teatro Technis, London (UK premiere); Hollow Roots b y Christina Anderson, South Dallas Cultural Center and KC MeltingPot (Kansas City); The Real James Bond...Was Dominican by Christopher Rivas, HERE Arts Center, NYC, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, and Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas; as well as productions at the Skirball Center, John Houseman Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park in NYC, among others. 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 Repertory Theatre, 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. He is currently working on 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 danger. Daniel is founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, promoting youth self-expression and leadership.
Daniel served on the dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown & Dancers ( Black Girl: Linguistic Play and ink). He is Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders and on the National Cabinet of U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). Daniel is editor of Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater and co-editor of Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG) exists to strengthen, nurture, and promote professional theatre in the U.S. and globally. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and nearly 10,000 Individual Members. Through its Core Values of Activism, Artistry, Diversity, and Global Citizenship, TCG advances a better world for theatre and a better world because of theatre. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG's partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 18 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its Member Theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre www.tcg.org .