"A dedicated, magnanimous, and spirited contributor to California's LGBT community, Daniel Henning has succeeded in compiling an impressive record of achievements that has earned him the well-deserved admiration and respect of the many individuals and organizations that have benefited from his singular engagement with them." CA State Legislature 2018
Director, Writer, Producer, Artistic Director, Historian, Teacher, Actor, Narrator, Activist
Who am I?
Daniel Henning founded The Blank Theatre and currently serves as its Artistic Director, where he has produced over 70 Mainstage Productions, 29 seasons of the Living Room Series and 28 Young Playwrights Festivals. Henning’s productions have been nominated for 209 LA theatre awards, winning 63 including “Best Production” from LA Drama Critic Circle Awards, LA Weekly Awards, Ovation Awards, NAACP Theatre Awards, BackStage Garland Awards et al.
He has directed 32 Mainstage productions for The Blank and won many honors for his direction including the NAACP Theatre Award for “Best Director of a Musical”. His most recent effort is NATHAN C. JONES: A LOVE STORY? a new musical which premiered on The Blank's YouTube Channel during the pandemic. He has been responsible for developing over 800 new plays at The Blank including over 300 by the best teen writers in the nation.
He directed 2016 "Best Play" Tony Award Winner Stephen Karam's first play when Stephen was 17 and a winner in The Blank’s Young Playwrights Festival. Henning has directed at Lincoln Center, Laguna Playhouse, 2017 Ovation Awards, and the Los Angeles City Council LGBT Heritage Month Celebration at City Hall.
He won the 2017 Telly Award for "Best Writing" for the film of his play THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (AS TOLD BY WM. SHAKESPEARE) (which he also directed). The script of his play DICKIE & BABE: THE TRUTH ABOUT LEOPOLD & LOEB is available on Amazon. As director and writer, his television and film work includes a musical for MTV’s ROB DYRDEK’S FANTASY FACTORY and the film CRITIC’S CHOICE. He produced the documentary LOVE 99, narrated by Dame Helen Mirren.
A performer since childhood, Henning has been seen on TV and in films including HBO's AND THE BAND PLAYED ON, THE BLACK STALLION, DESIGNING WOMEN, BEVERLY HILLS 90210 and others. He is also an audiobook narrator whose work ranges from Non-Fiction business to LGBT Teen novels to Meditation & Mindfulness to Gothic Horror among others.
He serves on the Western Regional Council for The Actor’s Fund. He produced the video of YOU CAN'T STOP THE BEAT in support of The Actor's Fund's Covid-19 services. It has over 1.75 million views on YouTube. His initiative Stayin’ Live! to support the Intimate Theatre movement in LA achieved the official city declaration for “Hollywood Theatre Row.”
In June 2018, Henning was honored by the CA State Legislature for his lifetime of artistic work and for his work in the LGBT community. That includes creating and producing the 50th Anniversay Celebration and Rally for the 1967 Black Cat Protests in Silver Lake - the site of the first major LGBT Demonstration in the US, and his work with the Midnight Stroll in Hollywood, a grass-roots effort to aid at-risk transgender and homeless people along Santa Monica Blvd.
Henning is a fan of designer Paul Smith and some of his collection was on display in Smith's shoppes.
In Alec Guinness' final memoir, he tells the story of meeting a 12-year-old Henning in San Francisco and making him promise never to see Star Wars again. That story has become known all around the world. Daniel tells his version in ALEC GUINNESS HATED STAR WARS OR HOW I BEAME A FAMOUS STAR WARS FAN.
Watch the film version of Daniel's play The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare) HERE for free.
Thanks for checking out my work and my life!
I have always been an artist and advocate.
I hope to make the world a better place with what I do, how I do it and who I do it with.
From creating to teaching to advocating to