Daniel Banks, Ph.D.
Daniel Banks, Ph.D., has worked extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having directed at such venues as the National Theatre of Uganda (Kampala), the Belarussian National Drama Theatre (Minsk), The Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), Playhouse Square (Cleveland), the Oval House and Teatro Technis (London), 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 (Brussels), Landestheater (Saltzburg), 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-Director Adam McKinney, Hollow Roots by Christina Anderson, and The Real James Bond…Was Dominican by and with Christopher Rivas.
Daniel 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 founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative that engages Hip Hop Theatre to promote 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 is on the Founding Board of the Hip Hop Education Center at NYU and is Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders. Daniel sits on the cabinet of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC), a national, grassroots, advocacy and activism movement as well as on the Drama League's Directors Council. 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 the 2020 recipient of the Alan Schneider Director Award from Theatre Communications Group.
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.
Adam McKinney, M.A.
Amanda Cooper is an Arts Administrator and Advocate. She is currently a freelance arts manager and consultant, working with a wide variety of music and theater companies around New York City. Recent work includes: A.R.T./New York, DNAWORKS, The New Ohio, The Prototype Festival, Concrete Temple Theatre, Sinking Ship, and Music Before 1800; NYSCA, Stein | Holum Projects and En Garde Arts. From 2011-2015, she was the General Manager for HERE Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary arts space in Manhattan. Prior to HERE, she held positions at The House Foundation, Symphony Space, Theatre Development Fund, Voice & Vision Theater and the Look + Listen Festival, where she has been serving as the President since 2014. Amanda is a published theater writer, and has served as an auditor and grant panelist for New York State and New York City. She is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin program, and a trained mediator through New York Peace Institute. She loves flora and fauna, and the city.
Troy Lambert is a New York City-based visual artist, designer, writer, and researcher. His conceptual works have been exhibited in numerous group shows in the NYC tri-state area. His paintings and installations have been featured in several independent films including Lisa Collins' Tree Shade, Florian Sachisthal's The Experience Box, and two features by Rodney Evans: Brother to Brother and The Happy Sad. Troy is a Supplemental Instructor and Learning Facilitator in the SEEK Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY and completed two years as an Adjunct Lecturer and Thesis Writing Advisor in the Master of Arts in Applied Theater Program at the School of Professional Studies CUNY. Troy is a bilingual (English/Spanish) qualitative and quantitative research coordinator and group facilitator with more than 25 years experience working with nonprofit and city, state and federal agencies. He has also provided creative arts-based mentoring activities and services to marginalized and underserved students across New York City’s five boroughs. Troy was a Camille Hanks-Cosby fellow at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, received his B.F.A. in painting from Carnegie Mellon University and attended the M.F.A. Painting Program at Yale University.