Benjamin Benne

Benjamin Benne

Benjamin Benne (he/him) is a Playwright's Center '23-26 Core Writer and alum of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages NYC.

MFA: Playwriting, David Geffen/Yale School of Drama '22. His teachers included Anne Erbe, Amy Herzog, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Sarah Ruhl.

Commissions: South Coast Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre....
Benjamin Benne (he/him) is a Playwright's Center '23-26 Core Writer and alum of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages NYC.

MFA: Playwriting, David Geffen/Yale School of Drama '22. His teachers included Anne Erbe, Amy Herzog, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Sarah Ruhl.

Commissions: South Coast Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Awards: Ojai Playwrights Conference's Dr. Kerry English Artist Award (2023), Portland Stage's Clauder Competition Grand Prize (2022-23), ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting (2022), Arizona Theatre Company's National Latinx Playwriting Award (2019), Kennedy Center/KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award (2019), American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Playwriting Award (2019), Chesley/Bumbalo Playwriting Award (2017), Playwrights’ Center’s McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting (2017-18) and Many Voices Fellowship (2016-17).

Development: Ojai Playwrights Conference, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Realm, The Lark, The Public, Roundabout, Denver Center, The Old Globe, Two River, Seattle Rep, Boston Court Pasadena, New Harmony Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Parley, among many others.

Productions:
ALMA at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre (Culver City CA), 2022
ALMA at ArtsWest Playhouse (Seattle WA), 2022
IN HIS HANDS at Mosaic Theater Company (DC), 2022
ALMA at American Blues Theater (Chicago IL), 2022
ALMA at Curious Theatre Company (Denver CO), 2023
WHAT / WASHED ASHORE / ASTRAY at Pillsbury House + Theatre (Minneapolis MN), 2023
ALMA at Central Square Theater (Cambridge MA), 2023
ALMA at The Spot (Ketchum ID), 2023

Forthcoming Productions in 2024:
ALMA (OC Premiere) at Chance Theater (Anaheim CA), May 3-26
MANNING (World Premiere) at Portland Stage (Portland ME), June 5-June 16
IN HIS HANDS (Chicago Premiere) at First Floor (Chicago IL), July 25-Aug 24
ALMA at Passage Theatre Company (Trenton NJ), Oct 4-20

Plays

  • this man i call mi primo
    Commissioned by Seattle Repertory Theatre

    Sean and Nathanael are cousins, born just a few weeks apart in 1988. Every year they visit the same beach in Southern California (first as children, then as adults) to swim in the ocean, eat carne asada, and witness how their lives, their bodies, and the natural world around them have changed year after year. Spanning 10 billion years in the life of the...
    Commissioned by Seattle Repertory Theatre

    Sean and Nathanael are cousins, born just a few weeks apart in 1988. Every year they visit the same beach in Southern California (first as children, then as adults) to swim in the ocean, eat carne asada, and witness how their lives, their bodies, and the natural world around them have changed year after year. Spanning 10 billion years in the life of the earth, Benjamin Benne’s Seattle Rep 20x30 Commission is a theatrical meditation on human and ecological transformation, intimacy between men, and the cycles of life and death that shape our existence. [synopsis by dramaturg Paul Adolphsen]
  • Fantasma
    Commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theatre

    It’s Christmas Eve in Southern California and Rosie’s family gathers in her newly-renovated kitchen to make chuchitos. Her grandchildren are eager to learn and document every part of the recipe for this traditional Guatemalan dish she has prepared her entire life. But Rosie’s cooking has more to do with intuition than metrics, and recording and...
    Commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theatre

    It’s Christmas Eve in Southern California and Rosie’s family gathers in her newly-renovated kitchen to make chuchitos. Her grandchildren are eager to learn and document every part of the recipe for this traditional Guatemalan dish she has prepared her entire life. But Rosie’s cooking has more to do with intuition than metrics, and recording and remembering are entirely different things. An expansive and lyrical intergenerational story that spans nearly two decades, Fantasma explores how we preserve our culture, how we assimilate, and the cost of what we leave behind.
  • and thou shalt be healed
    Winner, Dr. Kerry English Artist Award
    Selection, Ojai Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, The Playwrights' Center's McKnight National Residency & Commission
    Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, P73 Playwriting Fellowship
    Semi-Finalist, Premiere Stages' New Play Festival

    Siblings Mary and Johnny were raised in the same...
    Winner, Dr. Kerry English Artist Award
    Selection, Ojai Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, The Playwrights' Center's McKnight National Residency & Commission
    Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, P73 Playwriting Fellowship
    Semi-Finalist, Premiere Stages' New Play Festival

    Siblings Mary and Johnny were raised in the same Christian cult. Now in their 40s, the still religious Mary is having a crisis of faith and is in need of a miracle. Her now secular brother offers a controversial solution. When reunited on a remote mountain in New Mexico, surrounded by energy vortexes, rumors of aliens, and a golden eyelash palm pit viper named Daisy, they wonder: Did they ever know the same God?
  • Manning
    WORLD PREMIERE: Portland Stage (Portland ME), 2024

    Grand Prize Winner, Portland Stage's Clauder Competition
    Selection, Latinx New Play Festival at La Jolla Playhouse
    Finalist, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, Playwrights Foundation's Bay Area Playwrights Festival

    A father and his sons spread the ashes...
    WORLD PREMIERE: Portland Stage (Portland ME), 2024

    Grand Prize Winner, Portland Stage's Clauder Competition
    Selection, Latinx New Play Festival at La Jolla Playhouse
    Finalist, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, Playwrights Foundation's Bay Area Playwrights Festival

    A father and his sons spread the ashes of his wife/their mother in their backyard garden. When a giant zucchini manifests overnight, they each begin to develop language for their individual experiences of loss through their interactions with the supernatural vegetable. But can they also develop a communal vocabulary to express their grief with each other?
  • In His Hands
    CHICAGO PREMIERE (forthcoming): First Floor Theater (Chicago IL), 2024
    WORLD PREMIERE: Mosaic Theater Company (Washington DC), 2022

    Selection, Roundabout Underground Reading Series
    Selection, New Harmony Project Residency
    Winner, Kennedy Center/KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award
    Gold Prize, Portland Stage's Clauder Competition
    Finalist, Kitchen Dog Theater...
    CHICAGO PREMIERE (forthcoming): First Floor Theater (Chicago IL), 2024
    WORLD PREMIERE: Mosaic Theater Company (Washington DC), 2022

    Selection, Roundabout Underground Reading Series
    Selection, New Harmony Project Residency
    Winner, Kennedy Center/KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award
    Gold Prize, Portland Stage's Clauder Competition
    Finalist, Kitchen Dog Theater's New Play Festival
    Finalist, Playwrights Foundation's Bay Area Playwrights Festival

    This is a list of things Christian believes in: logic, banana Laffy Taffy, video games, and Daniel. This is a list of things Christian doesn't believe in: caffeine, alcohol, monogamy, and God. Daniel, a Mario Kart wizard and aspiring Lutheran pastor, is falling for Christian. But as these men explore the potential of their new relationship, voices from Christian's past threaten to overpower the connection they share -- with one another, and something bigger than themselves. [synopsis by dramaturg Sarah Lunnie]
  • Alma
    PRODUCTION #8 (forthcoming): Passage Theatre Company (Trenton NJ), 2024
    PRODUCTION #7: Chance Theater (Anaheim CA), 2024
    PRODUCTION #6: The Spot (Ketchum ID), 2023
    PRODUCTION #5: Central Square Theater (Cambridge MA), 2023
    REGIONAL PREMIERE: Curious Theatre Company (Denver CO), 2023
    WORLD PREMIERE (in cooperation with CTG): American Blues Theater (Chicago IL), 2022
    ...
    PRODUCTION #8 (forthcoming): Passage Theatre Company (Trenton NJ), 2024
    PRODUCTION #7: Chance Theater (Anaheim CA), 2024
    PRODUCTION #6: The Spot (Ketchum ID), 2023
    PRODUCTION #5: Central Square Theater (Cambridge MA), 2023
    REGIONAL PREMIERE: Curious Theatre Company (Denver CO), 2023
    WORLD PREMIERE (in cooperation with CTG): American Blues Theater (Chicago IL), 2022
    SEATTLE PREMIERE: ArtsWest (Seattle WA), 2022
    WORLD PREMIERE (in cooperation with ABT): CTG Kirk Douglas Theatre (Los Angeles CA), 2022

    Winner, Arizona Theatre Company's National Latinx Playwriting Award
    Winner, American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Playwriting Award
    Selection, The Playwrights' Center's Core Writer Program
    Selection, Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Colorado New Play Summit
    Selection, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference

    Working mom Alma has singlehandedly raised her daughter, Angel, on tough love, home-cooked comida, and lots of prayers. But on the eve of the all-important SAT, Alma discovers her daughter isn’t at home studying. A schooling and la chancla await Angel at home—but so does a creeping realization that more’s at stake than just a test score. A sacrifice from Alma’s past weighs heavy on their present; now, Alma fears that her worst nightmare may soon be their reality. Will the American Dream cost them a life together? [synopsis by dramaturg Catherine Rodriguez]
  • What / Washed Ashore / Astray
    WORLD PREMIERE: Pillsbury House Theatre (Minneapolis MN), 2023

    Twin sisters, Cat and Chris, are reunited in their beloved family cabin on the Pacific Northwest shoreline. But everything has aged: the cottage, their bodies. Then, dead things wash ashore, conch shells become uninhabited, ice caves melt, the water surrounding the cabin comes up higher and higher...and one of them will die within the year.
  • at the very bottom of a body of water
    Finalist, Williamstown Theatre Festival's L. Arnold Weissberger Award
    Selection, The Lark's Playwrights' Week

    Marina is being haunted. Every night, she dreams about drowning. Every week, she makes catfish soup. But when this ritual meal is disrupted by the disappearance of her fishmonger, she can no longer swim in the routine circle of her solitary life. She embarks on a...
    Finalist, Williamstown Theatre Festival's L. Arnold Weissberger Award
    Selection, The Lark's Playwrights' Week

    Marina is being haunted. Every night, she dreams about drowning. Every week, she makes catfish soup. But when this ritual meal is disrupted by the disappearance of her fishmonger, she can no longer swim in the routine circle of her solitary life. She embarks on a surreal quest--all the way down to the darkest place she can imagine--to confront the ghost that is holding her captive...or rather, the ghost that she's been holding captive.
  • q u e r e n c i a: an imagined autobiography about forbidden fruits
    Selection, The Playwrights Realm's Scratchpad Series
    Winner, Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award
    Winner, The Playwrights' Center's McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting
    Winner, The Playwrights' Center's Many Voices Fellowship
    Finalist, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, Princess Grace Award...
    Selection, The Playwrights Realm's Scratchpad Series
    Winner, Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award
    Winner, The Playwrights' Center's McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting
    Winner, The Playwrights' Center's Many Voices Fellowship
    Finalist, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
    Finalist, Princess Grace Award

    What's a boy to do when his favorite fruit is banana in a world that says he's gotta love mangoes? "querencia" (a Spanish word having to do with the longing to find or return to a place that feels like home) is a magical coming-of-age story about a young boy named Milo’s search for belonging as he grapples with friends, family, and his sexual identity, guided by a mysterious character called La Bruja.