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Heather Benton

Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance

Life Hall
BFA, University of Southern California
BA, University of Minnesota
MFA, Harvard University
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Heather Benton is the Program Coordinator for the B.F.A. Acting Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University. She specializes in a multi-technique approach to acting and teaches the foundational acting sequence in the Sophomore year of the BFA Acting Program consisting of Stanislavski and Practical Aesthetics techniques, as well the final acting course in the curriculum Senior year which integrates multiple approaches in a Capstone Project. Benton also specializes in Movement training for the actor (Yoga, Pilates, Droznin Body Work, Viewpoints and Suzuki training) teaching several movement courses in the BFA Acting curriculum. Benton frequently directs for the department season often creating original devised theatre with MSU students and faculty through various courses and special projects in the department.

Co-Head of the New Works Initiative (NWI) an Artist-in-Residence program and developmental platform in the Department of Theatre and Dance in Montclair State University’s College of the Arts. NWI’s mission is to bring together diverse, adventurous established and emerging playwrights, composers, choreographers, theatre-makers, and professional directors with MSU theatre students to explore new theatrical works.

Benton also served as the Program Director of the Devised Theatre Project of the Americas (2017-2018), a program created in partnership with the Universidad Mayor in Santiago Chile to create a bi-lingual devised theatre piece over the course of a three-semesters which included faculty/ student exchanges in the US and Chile, funded by a U.S. State Department’s Partners of the Americas Capacity Building Grant for U.S. Undergraduate Study Abroad.

Main Stage Directing credits at MSU: *Upcoming THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Simon Stephens, Memorial Auditorium (2022), WEDDING BAND by Alice Childress, Alexander Kasser Theatre (2018); IPHIGENIA AT AULIS by Euripides, Alexander Kasser Theatre (2016); WINTERTIME by Chuck Mee, L. Howard Fox Theatre (2014).

Senior Capstone Projects & Devised Theatre at MSU: RIDERS ON THE STORM, devised with original text & text from SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS by Bess Wohl (2020); YERMA by Simon Stone, adapted from Frederick Lorca’s play (2019); TEN X SHANLEY, devised with scenes from plays by John Patrick Shanley (2018);SENTIENCE, SEX, LOVE AND INFORMATION, devised with original text and text from LOVE & INFORMATION by Caryl Churchill (2017); POLAROID STORIES by Naomi Iizuka (2016).

International Collaborations: EL ENCUENTRO, bi-lingual devised, co-created with MSU Professor Debbie Saivetz and Universidad Mayor (Santiago, Chile) professors, Leonor Lopehandia & Gabriel Diaz of the Universidad Mayor (2017-2018).

Acting & Movement Coaching/ Choreography credits at MSU: TOP GIRLS by Caryl Churchill, MAD FOREST by Caryl Churchill, TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare, PUNK ROCK by Simon Stephens, THE DRUNKEN CITY by Adam Bock, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE adapted by Simon Reade from the novel by Jane Austen, THE PERSIANS by Aeschylus, THE WINTER'S TALE by William Shakespeare, CLYBOURNE PARK by Bruce Norris, MIDDLETOWN by Will Eno, THE BIG MEAl by Frank LeBlanc, EQUUS by Peter Schaffer, CLOUD NINE by Caryl Churchill, ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare, PENANCE: GHOST OF DON JUAN by Molly Rice, GRAPES OF WRATH adapted from John Steinbeck’s novel by Frank Galati, 1001 by Jason Grote, ARCADIA by Tom Stoppard.


Professor Benton specializes in a multi-approach technique to acting training and physical and devised theatre. Acting specializations include Stanislavski, Practical Aesthetics and Viewpoints training. Movement specializations include Yoga, Pilates, Droznin Body Work, Grotowski and Suzuki training.


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11:00 am - 2:00 pm
11:00 am - 2:00 pm