About Me

Ally Benko head.jpeg

I'm a theatre artist who is obsessed with historical memory, female agency, and heightened modes of expression. My taste varies widely among genres, and I'm captivated by classics and new work in equal measure. I particularly love to direct new plays, Shakespeare, and children's musicals. I'm drawn to work with wit, whimsy, and transcendence, and any work that both interrogates and celebrates forgotten moments from history that shed light on our world today. Ultimately, I do theatre because it allows me an outlet to express my curiosity about 

the world and why things are the way they are. Moreover, the practice of theatre continually challenges me to grow. Theatre teaches me to participate more actively in societal discussion, to deepen my faculties for empathy, and to think critically about the needs of a community. 

In addition to being a director, I am also a playwright and book writer. My play Another Mikado celebrates the influence of a forgotten Japanese tea shop girl on the famed opera and explores entrenched imbalances of power in Western theatre. I am also collaborating with Grace Oberhofer on a children's musical about the Kindertransport. This project follows Ruth, a Jewish-German girl adapting to life in Britain during World War II, as she overcomes trauma through musical expression.

As a classroom teaching artist, I've worked with students of all grade levels in many  areas of theatre: playwriting in Vermont, dramatic interpretation in Shanghai, and one-on-one lessons in Elizabethan theatre history online. I have also coached auditions extensively in New York City, and regularly work with playwrights seeking feedback on their pieces. I am passionate about mentorship, and I'm always excited to meet with young directors. 

 

I graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University (go Jumbos). I live in Brooklyn, where I love reading on my fire escape, cultivating my ignorance about social media, and watching dogs play Frisbee in the park.