June 24, 2018

4 Questions: Robert Benedetti

50 Years of Disruption
Dr. Robert Benedetti
Dr. Robert Benedetti

Dr. Robert Benedetti is a renowned and award-winning theatre educator, writer, and three-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning film producer.  On top of being chairman at the Department of Theatre at York in the early 70’s, he was Chairman of the Acting Program at the Yale Drama School, and for eight years Dean of Theatre at The California Institute of the Arts. He was until 2011 a tenured Full Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Artistic Director of the Nevada Conservatory Theatre. Benedetti has also written six books on acting and film production, including The Actor At Work 10th edition, The Actor in You 5th edition, ACTION! Acting for Film and Television, and From Concept to Screen, an Overview of Film and TV production.

This article is part of our series 50 Years of Disruption, in celebration of the Department of Theatre’s 50th Anniversary. In it, we’ll ask each participant four questions about themselves and their time at York.

1. Who are you?

Dr. Robert Benedetti (Chairman of Theatre Programme, 1971-73).

2. What was your favourite moment during your time in the Theatre Department, and why?

The faculty harvest of our huge marijuana crop at our rented farmhouse in Maple (present day Vaughan, ON, just north of York’s Keele Campus).

3. What comment, quotation, statement, or action that a professor—or classmate—offered had the greatest impact on you?

Mavor Moore‘s wonderful article, “Canada — a Place to Kneel.”

4. Is there a way you incorporate a particular aspect of your theatre training in your current work?

I continue to pursue the creation of interactive theater pieces and have now created an intimate theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, called the New Mexico Actors Lab, with which I’ve directed ten plays in four years.

Dr. Robert Benedetti and the company of the New Mexico Actors Lab.
Dr. Robert Benedetti and the company of the New Mexico Actors Lab.