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Daniel Henning

Theatre

Daniel Henning is Founding Artistic Director of The Blank, Hollywood's Resident Theatre.

Questions

  1. The Blank does have an apprenticeship program, that does not involve performing, but could that be helpful in an actor getting the opportunity to audition for a show at The Blank?
  2. Can any actor in town possibly audition for a show at The Blank, or is there an “odd or unknown” vetting process based on your reputation and stature in L.A.?
  3. Does the fact that smaller Theatre can have the perception it has in LA affect, in any way, how you pick and choose the material for each Season?
  4. If you’re standing on a corner and you hear one unknown actor discussing the importance of being “on the boards” even in LA, and the other actor scoffs, what might you add to that conversation that is filled with both the love of theatre and the practicality of Hollywood?
  5. Give the general “State of Theatre” in Los Angeles, outside of The Blank…a grade…and why do you think it deserves that grade in terms of its artistic intent or mission?
  6. As a Director have you found over the last decade a real stage presence gap between actors with a theatre background versus the LA actor who focuses on doing Film/TV work…but what they heck “they’ll mix a play in here and there.”
  7. The Blank has won I think every award one can win, which leads to your reputation and attendance. Actors fear no one will “see my work” in Hollywood at a smaller theatre? True? False? Fair…unfair? And has The Blank now succeeded in being THE exception?
  8. You’re the Founding Artistic Director of a Non-Profit with Noah Wyle (E.R.) at your side as the Artistic Producer. You also have a Board of Advisors littered with a few Hollywood notables. In an Oscar / Emmy town Daniel…how have you done this?
  9. I personally have always been a very large advocate, as you know, of actors being Pro-Active…so how do you feel about an actor who makes a strong effort personally beyond a submission to be auditioned for one of your shows?
  10. Two-parter: Does The Blank always or only sometimes attempt to “Stunt Cast” their shows with as many “name actors” as possible, and do you ever have well-known actors come to you or Noah and REQUEST to do a particular “show” at The Blank? Yes, no, never…a lot?

About the Guru

Daniel Henning is Founding Artistic Director of The Blank, Hollywood’s Resident Theatre. He most recently directed the West Coast Premiere’s of DUSK RINGS A BELL, SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE, WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM, SETUP & PUNCH, LOBSTER ALICE, and SPEECH & DEBATE. Henning won the NAACP Award for “Best Director” for Michael John LaChiusa’s THE WILD PARTY which also won “Best Production” from LA Drama Critics Circle, NAACP, BackStage Garland and 17 other awards). His debut as playwright was DICKIE & BABE: THE TRUTH ABOUT LEOPOLD & LOEB, which played a twice-extended run at The Blank. He conceived HOTEL C’EST L’AMOUR and created the star-studded benefit WHAT A PAIR! (for breast cancer research.) Henning made his Lincoln Center NY directorial debut with The Girly ShoW, directed the World Premiere of Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood at the Laguna Playhouse and his TV credits include writing and directing a musical number (“LIVIN” IT”) for MTV’s ROB DYRDEK’s FANTASY FACTORY. His productions have won every major “Best Production” Award possible (LADCC, Ovations, LA Weekly, NAACP, BackStage) and Henning’s directorial work has also been recognized by these organizations on numerous occasions. Henning was honored by the LA City Council and also awarded the Hollywood Arts Council’s “Charlie Award” for “pursuing artistic excellence in the heart of Hollywood.” Henning now serves on the Executive Committee of the Hollywood Arts Council, the Western Council for the Actor’s Fund and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Circle in the Square Theatre School, and American Conservatory Theatre.