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Bio

Daniel HENNING

is the Founding Artistic Director of Hollywood’s The Blank Theatre. He was born in Oakland, CA and started acting in local theatre at age 4. At age 11, he became the youngest member ever of the Puppeteers Guild of America. He studied at American Conservatory Theatre under Annette Bening and Bill Ball before attending New York University, enrolling at the prestigious Broadway theatre school Circle in the Square. During his senior year at NYU, he became Michael Lindsay Hogg’s assistant on Horton Foote’s world premiere THE WIDOW CLAIRE. Following the run, Henning was asked to manage the historic off-Broadway venue of Circle in the Square which he did for a year.

Henning was invited to L.A. for “pilot season,” got cast in a play by Donald O’Connor, and stayed. Shortly thereafter, seeing a somewhat barren theatrical landscape, he founded The Blank Theatre as a place for artists to create in a safe environment, and audiences to be entertained while not being pandered to.

Most recently Henning directed the world premiere of SOMETHING TRULY MONSTROUS, Jon Maran’s THE COST OF THE ERECTION and Stephen Belber’s DUSK RINGS A BELL.  He directed the West Coast Premieres of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE, Christopher Durang’s WHY TORTURE IS WRONG, AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM, and the World Premiere of SETUP & PUNCH by Mark Saltzman.  And he founded The Blank’s Young Playwrights Festival, the only professional nationwide competition for playwrights 9 to 19. 2015 marks the 23rd YPF.

Henning won the NAACP Theatre Award for “Best Director of a Musical” for LaChiusa’s THE WILD PARTY (“Best Production” -LA Drama Critics Circle, NAACP Theatre, BackStage Garland and 17 other awards.)  He conceived, directed and choreographed the LaChiusa revue HOTEL C’EST L’AMOUR, directed LOBSTER ALICE starring Noah Wyle and Nicholas Brendon, and the West Coast Premiere of SPEECH & DEBATE by Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Karam, a three-time winner in The Blank’s Young Playwrights Festival - a 25 year-old competition for playwrights 19 and younger.   

Henning made his Lincoln Center - NY directorial debut with The Girly Show with Mr. LaChiusa. He directed the World Premiere of Saltzman’s Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood at Laguna Playhouse and created the star-studded WHAT A PAIR! (benefit for breast cancer research.)

As director and writer, his television and film work include MTV’s ROB DYRDEK’S FANTASY FACTORY and the short film CRITIC’S CHOICE. His debut as playwright was DICKIE & BABE: THE TRUTH ABOUT LEOPOLD & LOEB, a docu-drama which played a twice-extended run at The Blank.

LA Drama Critic Circle Awards, LA Weekly Awards, Ovation Awards, NAACP Theatre Awards, BackStage Garland Awards etc. have honored Henning’s productions with 60 awards and 192 nominations for “Best Production”, “Best Musical”, “Best Play”, “Best Director of a Musical”, “Best Comedy Direction” and “Best Direction” among others. Most recently, BroadwayWorld gave “Best Play (Local Production)” to Henning’s production of PETER PAN: THE BOY WHO HATED MOTHERS.

The L.A. City Council passed a resolution in honor of Henning & The Blank Theatre, and they were awarded the Hollywood Arts Council’s “Charlie Award” for “pursuing artistic excellence and for nurturing the next generation of playwrights in the heart of Hollywood.” 

He is the Founder of Stayin’ Live! an initiative to create the assured future of live theatre in Hollywood. Henning now serves  on the Western Regional Council for the Actor’s Fund of America. He is a member of SDC, ASCAP and SAG/AFTRA.

As also performs wedding ceremonies on land and at sea as a minister.