Ep. 28: Building Connections with PlayMakers’ Broadway Bound Director Vivienne Benesch

Ep. 28: Building Connections with PlayMakers’ Broadway Bound Director Vivienne Benesch

00:00 / 00:33:46

When you look at the scope of Vivienne Benesch’s career thus far, she certainly has an impressive resume, from actress to director to the Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers Repertory Company. In fact, it was recently announced that Vivienne will make her Broadway directorial debut next year, directing Debra Messing in Noah Haidle’s play BIRTHDAY CANDLES. But when you speak to Vivienne, it becomes very clear that what is most important to her is building connections and nurturing relationships. On this episode of the Triangle’s only theater podcast, hear what Vivienne has to say about that, the role theater has in strengthening community, and her full-circle journey back to Broadway, this time as a director.

About the Guest

Triangle theater podcast featuring conversation with PlayMakers' Broadway Bound Director Vivienne Benesch
PlayMakers’ Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch chats with Lauren Van Hemert on the Triangle’s only theater podcast.

Vivienne Benesch is in her fourth full season as a theater maker and company member and Producing Artistic Director here at PlayMakers in Chapel Hill. For 12 seasons, she served as Artistic Director of the renowned Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory, presiding over the company’s transformation into one of the best summer theatres and most competitive summer training programs in the country. She directed over 15 productions at CTC including an acclaimed re-imagining of ROMEO AND JULIET featuring the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Theatre, Opera and Dance companies. She brought CTC’s production of AMADEUS performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic, to the Virginia Arts Festival featuring PlayMakers company member Ray Dooley. She has helmed productions of LIFE OF GALILEO, THE MAY QUEEN, THREE SISTERS, LOVE ALONE, RED and IN THE NEXT ROOM for PlayMakers, directed extensively for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and directed THE HEIDI CHRONICLES for Trinity Repertory Company. As an actress, Vivienne has worked on and off-Broadway, in film and television, and at many of the country’s most celebrated theatres. She has appeared with Gene Wilder, Al Pacino and Blythe Danner, performed with Maggie Smith in the London revival of Edward Albee’s THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE, and received an OBIE Award for her performance in Lee Blessing’s GOING TO ST. IVES. Vivienne is a graduate of Brown University and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. As an educator, she has directed for and served on the faculty of some of the nation’s foremost actor training programs, including The Juilliard School, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Professional Actor Training Program, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program and at her alma mater, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. She is the 2017 recipient of the Zelda Finchandler Award given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation.

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Click here to listen to the next episode of the Triangle’s only theater podcast, as Lauren Van Hemert visits Saxapahaw and chats with Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s Donovan Zimmerman.

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