Darnell Pierre Benjamin is always ready to come back home to play in Know Theatre’s sandbox.
Originally from Louisiana, Darnell has his BFA from UL Lafayette; and an MFA from University of Houston in 2009. Fortune has shined and given Darnell many opportunities to do some amazing shows: Titus Andronicus and To Kill a Mockingbird at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and Around the World in 80 Days at Ensemble Theatre, among others.
Know Theatre fans may remember Darnell from his appearances in Cock, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and, of course, his powerful performance as Belize in Angels in America. Darnell is also a Cincinnati Fringe Festival veteran, performing in 2010 and 2011 with Pones, Inc., and recently appeared as Walter Lee Younger in Hope Summer Repertory Theatre’s smash-hit production of A Raisin in the Sun.
When he’s not on stage performing, Darnell teaches Shakespeare at Seven Hills Middle School, where those eighth graders have kidnapped his heart. Soon, the short film “Brett and Kyle” will premiere in Cincinnati, so be on the lookout to see Darnell in one of the title roles.
Here’s what Darnell has to say about his latest challenge–playing the role of Knox in Harry & The Thief:
1. What do you love most about playing your character, Knox?
What I love most about playing Knox is the research that goes along with understanding why this guy wants to become a vaquero. Not only were vaqueros interesting, with extremely tough lives, but they were also as bad-ass as a person could be.
2. What would your character’s action-movie theme song be?
Knox’s action theme song would be Ministry’s “Thieves.”
3. Why should audiences root for Knox?
Audiences should root for Knox because he is fearless; also, he will stay on you until you make the decision to root for him. Seriously.
4. Say someone sent you back in time to change the course of history: Who would you go to find and what would you do?
If I were sent back in time, I’d want to go back to the night before my grandmother passed away and talk about silliness throughout the entire night.
5. In 50 words or less, why should Cincinnati come out to see Harry & The Thief?
Cincinnati should come out to see Harry & the Thief, because it offers an opportunity to see history and current pop culture from a point of view that is both provocative and visceral, and have some fun doing so.