Daniel Banks

Daniel is a bald man who smirks and squints a bit, while wearing a navy polo.

Daniel Banks

National Theater Project Advisor
Location: The traditional lands stewarded by the Seneca Nation and refuge to members of the Hopewell, Monongahela, Shawnee, and Lenape peoples (Pittsburgh, PA)


Daniel Banks (Dan-yull Banks) is a director, deviser, and dance dramaturg. He is Co-Founder and Co-Curator of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to dialogue and healing through the arts. Co-founded in 2006 by Banks and Adam W. McKinney, DNAWORKS centers Global Majority and LGBTQQ2SPIAA+ voices to create more complex representations of identity, culture, class, and heritage in dance, theatre, film, writing, and art installation.

Daniel has directed, led workshops, and/or instigated projects in 39 states and 23 countries at such venues at the Belarussian National Drama Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Folger Shakespeare Library, The Market Theater Lab (South Africa), National Theatre of Uganda, McCarter Theatre Center, the NYC and DC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals, Playhouse Square, PlayMakers Rep, and The Public Theater. He has worked as choreographer/movement director for productions at La Monnaie (Belgium), Landestheater (Austria), NY Shakespeare Festival/Shakespeare in the Park, Singapore Repertory Theatre, and Theatre for a New Audience, and on the dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

Daniel has served on the faculties of Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; Naropa University (Boulder, CO); City University of New York; and as Chair of Performing Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM). He is currently Adjunct Professor in the MFA Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University. Daniel is Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders, a cabinet member of the national grassroots organization U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, on the Directors Council for The Drama League, and on the Advisory Board of Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice. He is founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, promoting youth self-expression and leadership through the integration of Hip Hop culture’s art forms. He is the editor of Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater,co-editor of Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative and has authored numerous articles and chapters on social justice arts, casting, Hip Hop Theatre, and education.

Daniel is Co-Convener and Board Chair of Transform 1012 N. Main Street, the project to repurpose the former Ku Klux Klan Auditorium in Fort Worth, TX, into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing. He is the 2020 recipient of Theatre Communication Group’s Alan Schneider Director Award.

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