Vivienne Benesch is an actor, director, producer, and teacher who has worked extensively on and Off Broadway, in film and television and at many of the country's most eminent theaters and arts institutions. Alongside Ethan McSweeny, she is in her seventh season as co-Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory where she began as a student in 1989. For CTC she has directed Amadeus, Rx, An Incident, Sick, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, The Skin of Our Teeth and The 9/11 Project and acted in Arcadia, Reckless, 100 Saints You Should Know, Iphigenia and Other Daughters and Waiting for the Parade.
This spring, Vivienne will star Off Broadway in the first New York revival of Michael Frayn’s Benefactors with the award winning Keen Company. Recent stage work includes the London revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady from Dubuque opposite Maggie Smith, and Lee Blessing’s Going to St. Ives, a performance for which she received an OBIE award. In New York her Broadway credits include: After the Fall, Salome, Deep Blue Sea, and The Heiress; Off Broadway: Lincoln Center Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, NYSF/Public Theatre, MTC, Primary Stages, CSC, MCC and Theatre for a New Audience. Regional work includes leading roles at The Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, The Alley, A.C.T. San Francisco, Shakespeare Theatre Company, McCarter, Long Wharf, Westport Country Playhouse, and four seasons at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. TV & film credits include Teeth, American Splendor, Tenderness, Corn, “Paradise,” “The Good Wife,” “Six Feet Under,” “Sex and the City,” “The Education of Max Bickford,” “The Division,” and multiple episodes of “Law & Order.”
As a director Benesch has worked extensively at The Juilliard School where she has staged Measure for Measure, Arms and the Man, A Month in the Country, The Seagull and Getting Out. Her highly acclaimed production of Richard III for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey was named Top Ten of 2007 by the New Jersey Star Ledger. She has taught at Juilliard and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, and coaches privately in New York and Los Angeles. From 2006 to 2010 she served as adjudicator and then Chair of the theatre panel for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts youngARTS program. She is a graduate of Brown University and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.