Ben Crowder - Performance Director, 2008 Summer School
Ben is a co-founder and director of Auckland’s independent company Theatre Stampede. He studied drama and playwriting at The University of Otago; went on to complete a post-graduate diploma in drama at The University of Auckland; and continued his professional training at The John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne.
Currently Ben works in Auckland predominantly as a director. His theatrical work is hallmarked by a lightness and joy in performance, coupled with dramatic integrity and a demand for innovation. His productions are well known for their theatricality, bold physicality and visual flair. Work includes: ‘The Young Baron’, ‘Blossom’, ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’. He has directed over 20 devised productions.
In 2005 he received a STAB Commission – which resulted in a collaboration with Nightsong Productions. Their forthcoming production ‘Head’ was a major push into the realm of contemporary technologies coupled with the theatre form and went on to win Wellington’s 2005 Chapman Tripp Award for ‘Most Original Production’. This production went on to a sell-out season at the 2007 Auckland Festival. Further New Zealand exposure and also international seasons are currently being followed up for this work. At the other end of the spectrum he directed the 2005 Silo smash-hit ‘Badjelly the Witch’ and this year’s critically acclaimed production of ‘Buzzy Bee’s Big Day Out’.
Ben also moonlights as a drama teacher. As a tutor he has recently been engaged by: South Seas School of Film and Television, The University of Auckland, AYA, The Auckland Theatre Company, The National Youth Drama School and the New Zealand Leadership Institute. He also continues to be funded to run a series of masterclasses for professional theatre makers.