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, Belarussian 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 by Christina Anderson, South Dallas Cultural Center and KC MeltingPot (Kansas City); The Real James Bond… Was Dominican by Christopher Rivas, HERE Arts Center, NY, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, and Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas; as well as productions at the Skirball Center, John Houseman Theatre, and Queens Theater in the Park in NYC, among others. He has 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. DNAWORKS has worked in thirty-seven states and seventeen countries. With DNAWORKS, Daniel 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. He is directing Fort Worth Lynching Tour: Honoring the Memory of Mr. Fred Rouse (December 2020 premiere). He has also co-convened the 1012 Leadership Coalition, a consortium of six local organizations, to acquire the former Ku Klux Klan meeting Hall in Fort Worth and transform it into a center and museum for the arts and community healing.
Daniel is founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, promoting youth self-expression and leadership. He 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 and has published widely on Hip Hop Theatre. Daniel is a member of The Drama League’s Directors Council and the 2020 recipient of Theatre Communication Group’s Alan Schneider Director Award.