Benjamin Henson

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Benjamin is one of New Zealand’s busiest theatre directors, forging a diverse career, spanning form, scale and medium including original works, scripted premieres and opera. Prior to New Zealand, Benjamin worked for one of the UK’s largest youth arts organisations, leading participatory projects for primarily at-risk youth, including taking six productions a year to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for nine consecutive years. Ben later trained in theatre direction at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London, while continuing to direct for London Fringe and cabaret circuit. Following projects in Germany and France, Ben was director in residence at the Yvonne Artaud Theatre, Guildford. In New Zealand, Ben teaches in Auckland’s drama schools and is on the board of The Actors’ Program. 2019 marks the inaugural year of The Directors’ Program, the country’s only course of its kind, which has been developed and created by Ben and a team of industry advisors. Under theatre collective Fractious Tash, Ben has received critical acclaim for Earnest, Not Psycho and Titus, which was then remounted for a sell-out season at the Pop-Up Globe (featuring Beyoncé covers by New Zealand’s only steelpan band no less). Benjamin was one of two directors to engage in The Engine Room; a fast-track initiative between Auckland Theatre Company, New Zealand Opera and The Fortune Theatre. As a result, Ben featured in Peer Gynt [recycled] for ATC; directed Twelfth Night for the Fortune Theatre, winning production of the year at the Dunedin theatre awards; and assisted Sara Brodie on the Auckland Arts Festival production of Nixon in China before taking what he had learned to direct Oreste for Auckland Opera Studio at Mercury Theatre. Ben opened ATC’s 2018 season with the New Zealand premiere of Red Speedo by American playwright Lucas Hnath. The award-winning production of Last Tapes’ Valerie is currently touring New Zealand, following dates in Australia and Edinburgh, adding to its accolade, the coveted Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.