Katie Bender is a playwright, performer and theater maker. Her plays include Still, Now, The Fault, One Night Only and The Survivors/ Los Sobrevivientes. She’s a founding member of Underbelly-a theatre collaborative that stages immersive journey plays in forgotten spaces, with whom she created Slip River, Church of the Passionate Cat and an immersive adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, which was commissioned through ZACH. Her work has been developed or produced with Heart and Dagger Productions, Ensemble Studio Theater, LaunchPad,The New Harmony Project, Kitchen Dog, Orchard Project, The Hangar, Icicle Creek Festival, New Victory LabWorks program, ZACH and Fusebox Festival. Winner of the 2013 Best New Comedy from Austin Critics Table Awards and on the Kilroys in 2015 she was a finalist for the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship. Katie received her M.F.A. from The University of Texas and was a 2016/2017 Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center and Travel and Study Grant recipient through the Jerome Foundation. She is currently the playwright-in-residence at The Susanna Dickinson Museum in Austin, Texas.
Obsessed with the way people navigate impossible situations; addiction, a terminal diagnosis, poverty, war, Katie’s plays are filled with survivors struggling to find their own way. Her plays are built as prayers or questions, theatrical events that invite audiences into moments of the unknown and so-like traveling to a new land-build experiential empathy. Filled with games, physical exertion, and a poetic delight in the mundane, these plays are an unflinching examination of characters just the outskirts of the everyday.
Photo credit: (top) Jonathan Itchon and Amelia Turner in rehearsal for Still,Now. (bottom left) Mercedes O’Bannion’s costume renderings for The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes, now on exhibit at The Susanna Dickinson Museum. (bottom center) Raquel Cain, Allison Stoos and Estrella Saldaña in The Fault. (bottom right) Katie Bender, Gabrielle Reisman and Rachel Mars, photo by Bruce Silcox. (Side Right) Headshot by Kelsey Oliver.