Daniel Banks is a theatre director, choreographer, educator, and dialogue facilitator. He has worked extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having directed at such notable venues as the National Theatre of Uganda (Kampala), the Belarusian National Drama Theatre (Minsk), The Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (New York and Washington, D.C.), and the Oval House (London). Banks has served on the faculties of the Department of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and the MFA in Contemporary Performance at Naropa University.
He is the founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative that uses Hip Hop Theatre as a tool for youth empowerment and leadership training. HHTI has worked on campuses and in communities across the U.S. and in Ghana, South Africa, Hungary, Mexico, and Israel. Banks is also Co-Director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to using the arts as the catalyst for community dialogue and healing.
Banks is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors. He sits on the steering committee of Theatre Without Borders, on the Editorial Board of No Passport Press, and on the Advisory Boards of the Hip Hop Association and the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. He has guest lectured extensively, at such institutions as: SUNY Stony Brook, University of California-Riverside, Stanford University, Brandeis University, University of Western Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Central Florida, and University of Florida-Gainesville; and has been a Guest Artist at Williams College, City College of New York, Marymount Manhattan College, and the National Theatre Conservatory, Denver. He holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU.
His publications include "Unperforming 'Race': Strategies for Re-imagining Identity" in A Boal Companion: Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics and "How Hiplife Theatre Was Born in Ghana," American Theatre magazine. He is editor of the forthcoming critical anthology of Hip Hop Theatre plays Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theatre, for the University of Michigan Press (Spring 2010).