Untitled Immigration Project

Untitled Immigration Project
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Untitled Immigration Project

Benjamin Viertel

Logline:An investigative theater work which reveals intimate stories of those affected by the US immigration system, through interviews with immigrants, ICE agents, deported people and my personal narrative.
Project Status:In development
Opportunities Sought:Future development opportunities, Producing partners, Other employment opportunities (eg - staffing), Representation
Project Description:

BENJAMIN VIERTEL is a freelance director based in New York City, who grew up in France with an Italian mother and German father. At 11 he emigrated to the U.S. speaking three languages, none of them English. A director and foreigner, his work makes the outsider experience central while illuminating injustices and exposing the underpinnings of society. Through an amalgamation of American and European dramaturgical and theatrical styles, Benjamin creates performances that teeter between seduction and aggression, focusing on the individual versus society, and investigating shame in the personal and political spheres.

Benjamin most recently directed the off-Broadway production of Between the Bars at HERE Arts in Fall of 2021, the production was described as “brilliantly directed” (TheaterScene), “impeccable direction” (Theater Pizzazz), “excellently directed” (Reviews Off Broadway). As co-founding Artistic Director of Third Space, Benjamin has directed both theater and film projects. The New Yorker’s Hilton Als described The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant as “a fascinating Rococo experiment in power.” The New York Times called Fireface, “inventive and sophisticated" and went on to say, "[Benjamin's] enthusiasm and ingenuity are very much in evidence, and it will be exciting to see what he and his designers accomplish next.” Benjamin has developed new works with Davenport Theatrical, Evan Bernardin Productions, Abrons Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Civilians and his work has been seen at HERE Arts, Atlantic Stage II, The York Theatre, The New Ohio, The Brick, Playhouse on the Square, Bristol Valley Theater, IRT, and NYC Fringe. He is an Orchard Project Greenhouse Lab Member, Manhattan Theater Club's Directing Fellow, a Resident Artist at Abrons Arts Center, and a member of The Kennedy Center Director’s Lab, and The Civilians’ R&D Group.

As an assistant and associate, he has worked with Moises Kaufman at Roundabout Theater Company, Billy Porter at The Huntington Theater Company, Peter Kleinert of the Berlin Schaubühne, Loretta Grecco, and Steve Cosson. From 2013-2016, Benjamin was the Artistic Manager at The National Theatre for Student Artists. He holds a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Bios:

Benjamin Viertel is a theater and film director/producer/dramaturg based in NYC, who grew up in France with an Italian mother and German father. At 11 he emigrated to the U.S. speaking three languages, none of them English.

A a queer director and immigrant, his work makes the outsider experience central while illuminating injustices and exposing the underpinnings of society. Through an amalgamation of American and European dramaturgical and theatrical styles, Benjamin creates performances that teeter between seduction and aggression, focusing on the individual versus society, and investigating shame in the personal and political spheres. Benjamin cares deeply about the specific injustices of economic, social, and racial disparity and is committed to telling complicated and profound stories about immigrants and queer people, which led him to founding Third Space in 2014.

“Third spaces are in-between, or hybrid, spaces, where the first and second spaces (home and work, respectively) work together to generate a new third space.”

As Artistic Director, Benjamin is focused on building a community that is both local and global by producing and directing new plays and musicals, contemporary German plays, pop-up events, and over 50 episodes of various web series. Third Space’s bilateral approach has cultivated a community that engages in disparate artistic work through a common theme of making the outsider experience central.

The New Yorker’s Hilton Als described Third Space’s production of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant as “a fascinating Rococo experiment in power.” The New York Times called Third Space’s Fireface, “inventive and sophisticated" and went on to say, "[Benjamin's] enthusiasm and ingenuity are very much in evidence, and it will be exciting to see what he and his designers accomplish next.”

Benjamin has also developed new works with Abrons Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Civilians and Davenport Theatrical Enterprises. His work has been seen at The New Ohio, The Brick, Atlantic Stage II, The York Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, Bristol Valley Theater, IRT, and NYC Fringe. He is a Resident Artist at Abrons Arts Center, a Manhattan Theater Club's Directing Fellow, and a member of The Kennedy Center Director’s Lab, and The Civilians’ R&D Group.

As an assistant and associate, Benjamin has worked with Moises Kaufman, Peter Kleinert of the Berlin Schaubühne, Loretta Grecco, Steve Cosson, and Billy Porter. Benjamin received a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

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