Daniel Banks, Ph.D.
Daniel Banks, Ph.D., is a director, deviser, dance dramaturg, and community organizer. He has directed, led workshops, and/or instigated projects in 39 states and 23 countries at such venues as the National Theatre of Uganda, the Belarussian National Drama Theatre, The Market Theatre (South Africa), Playhouse Square (Cleveland), the Oval House and Theatro Technis (U.K.), with the NYC and DC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals, and workshops of new projects with Bay Area Playwrights Festival, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and McCarter Theatre (Sallie B. Goodman Fellow). He served as choreographer/movement director for productions at New York Shakespeare Festival/ Shakespeare in the Park, Theatre for a New Audience, Singapore Repertory Theatre, La Monnaie/De Munt (Belgium), Salzburger Landestheater (Austria), Aaron Davis Hall (Harlem), and for Maurice Sendak/The Night Kitchen. Daniel was Associate Director for Nambi E. Kelley’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Jazz, at Baltimore Center Stage, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. He served on the dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown & Dancers’ Black Girl: Linguistic Play and ink (touring); and directed DNAWORKS touring productions HaMapah/The Map choreographed and performed by DNAWORKS Co-Founder Adam W. McKinney, Hollow Roots by Christina Anderson, and The Real James Bond…Was Dominican by and with Christopher Rivas.
He has served on the faculties of the Department of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU; the MFA in Contemporary Performance, Naropa University; the M.A. in Applied Theatre, City University of NY; 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 founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative (HHTI) that engages Hip Hop Theatre to catalyze youth self-expression and leadership. HHTI has worked on campuses and in communities across the U.S. and in Azerbaijan, Ghana, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, and South Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU and his writings on casting, Hip Hop Theatre, and Applied Theatre are featured in several books and such publications as Theatre Topics, Classical World, American Theatre, and Black Masks. He is editor of the first critical anthology of Hip Hop Theatre plays Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater and co-editor with Dr. Claire Syler of The Welcome Table: Casting a Movement.
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 into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing. He was a Founding Board member of the Hip Hop Education Center at NYU and currently serves on the Drama League’s Directors Council, the National Cabinet of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, and is Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders. Daniel is the 2020 recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s Alan Schneider Director Award.
Adam McKinney, M.A.
Adam W. McKinney is a dancer, choreographer, community activist, and Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. He has danced with some of the world’s preeminent dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Béjart Ballet Lausanne (Switzerland), Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, ZviDance, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, and Milwaukee Ballet Company.
McKinney has led dance work with diverse populations across the U.S. and in Benin, Canada, England, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Spain, and South Africa. Awards of note include an Asylum Arts award for truth and reconciliation artwork about the Fort Worth (TX) lynching of Fred Rouse entitled “SCAB;” Texas Christian University’s (TCU) Research & Creative Activities Award for “Dancing through a Door of Return,” site-specific dance performances in West African slave castles; New York University’s President’s Service Award for dance work with populations who struggle with heroin addiction; Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Choreographers grant for dance work with Ethiopian-Israeli communities; National Artist Teacher Fellowship for “The Borders Project” at the Mexico/U.S. border; and LEAD:NM, an educational fellowship for teachers and leaders of color creating change in charter education in New Mexico.
Adam was a School of American Ballet National Visiting Teaching Fellow, an opportunity to engage in important conversations around diversity and inclusion in classical ballet. Named one of the most influential African Americans in Milwaukee, WI, by St. Vincent DePaul, McKinney was New Mexico School for the Arts’ inaugural Dance Department Chair (Santa Fe, NM), and Assistant Professor of Dance in the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at TCU where he taught courses in classical ballet, modern dance (Horton), and choreography. McKinney holds a BFA in Dance Performance with high honors from Butler University and an MA in Dance Studies with concentrations in Race and Trauma theories from NYU-Gallatin. Areas of research include: dance performance, site-specific dance, mixed ability dance, trans-generational trauma, dance and PTSD, Queer dance, Black dance, Jewish dance, and dance with veterans. He is recipient of the 2019 Interchange Fellowship from Mid-America Arts Alliance.