Ben Randle

THEATRE DIRECTOR

Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

 

"A dynamic world premiere .. The setting and staging by Director Ben Randle will astound you—there are great shadows cast by fathers and generals, the handing down of a massive shadowy shield, and rumbles from the distant Trojan War ... Randle is a magician."

Barry Horwitz, Theatrius

"Compellingly directed by Ben Randle ... remarkable performances that gain added impact from the intimacy of the 60-seat Walker Theatre."

George Heymont, Huffington Post

"In JC Lee's intriguing "warplay," having a stylish world premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center, which commissioned it, characters derived from Achilles and Patroclus in Homer's "The Iliad" are brought into the modern world – except that it's a woozy variation on the world we all explore daily ...  Director Ben Randle has found stylish ways to render the complicated world of these two characters."

Richard Dodds, Bay Area Reporter

"Under Ben Randle's fine direction, the two engage in a dance that feels emblematic of a lot of gay love stories, or of love stories in general — complete with battles for dominance, struggles with empathy, and frequent bouts of frustration."

Jay Barmnn, SFist

"A dynamic world premiere... The staging of the entire show is a marvel"

Kedar Adour, Theatre World

"Their acting is a thing of beauty, adeptly arranged by director Ben Randle and the smart, credible dialogue of JC Lee ... imaginatively creative playwriting, great acting and focused direction. "

Steve Murray, For All Events

"Ben Randle directs with style and gets the best out of the two brilliant actors"

Richard Connema, Talkin' Broadway

 

Sons of the Prophet

“But Karam hasn’t written a tragedy. Or if he has, it’s cleverly disguised as a comedy. He manages an even tone throughout without leaning too far in either direction. It certainly helps that the director of this production, Ben Randle, embraces the changeability of those theatrical masks. Tragedy and comedy aren’t mutually exclusive on stage or in real life. He also hired a nimble cast of actors who boldly and briskly embody that sense of emotional splitting... Vibrant and funny and relevant"

Jeffrey Edalatpour, SFWeekly

"The reason to see Sons of the Prophet is that it is a tenderhearted, magnificently written dramedy, beautifully directed by Ben Randle, that can easily stand on its own against numerous classics of the American theatre.”

George Heymont, Huffington Post

"Darkly funny and touching ... Director Ben Randle has a flexible feel for both its valiant humor and its understated anguish."

Richard Connema, Talkin Broadway

"With the ending movement being done in cadence to the music, the final visual of healing-by-doing is the perfect picture for Mr. Randle to complete his outstanding staging of the play.

Mr. Karam’s passionate script pairs very well with Mr. Randle’s direction, punching home the final message of how everyone copes with the pain of living through labeling things; once humans can identify, or have someone else identify, just what it is that is hurting them, the healing can begin and the living can resume."

Marc Gonzalez, Road to 1,000

"“In all, playwright Karam offers a vivid, sensitive, and riotous peek into a community that has suffered and survived, and New Conservatory has done well by the playwright

Victor Cordell, For All Events

 

Sagittarius Ponderosa

"an original, intelligent, refreshingly open-hearted winter wonderland"

Laura Bruekner, Theater Bay Area

"This play is excellent and it has moments of describing the essence of human change and courage trans* young folks face. The mix of identities in constant change from a forest tree to death and love potions ... Beautifully directed by Ben Randle"

Vince Media, VMedia

"Ben Randle's ingenius staging"

Richard Dodds, Bay Area Reporter

"Two real strengths of the production are the set and the direction ... Congratulations to NCTC for staging yet another in a long series of world premieres of LBGT-oriented plays, especially producing a play focusing on the “T.” 

Eddie Richards, Theatre Eddys

 

Hold Me Closer Tiny, Dionysus (2012, CounterPULSE)

"Under the direction of Ben Randle, Hold Me Closer is effusive in its theatricality and generous in its silliness."

Lily Janiak, SFWeekly

 

Into the Clear Blue Sky

Nominated, 7 Bay Area Critics Circle Awards, including Best Director (Ben Randle), Best Scenic Design (Ben Randle), Best New Play (JC Lee), Best Actress (Dina Percia), Best Sound Design (Colin Trevor), and Best Production.

Winner for Best Lighting Design (Christian Mejia & Alex Senchak)

 

"Into the Clear Blue Sky shows that you don’t need a huge budget to create magical and moving art. ... Under the inventive direction of Ben Randle, the stage itself becomes poetic, too. Into the Clear Blue Sky, in its brief 70 minutes, is a refreshing reminder of what theater - and only theater - can accomplish: collective acts of extraordinary imagination

Randle’s direction makes imagination literal. Flashlights create both undersea plunges and starry nights. The set, by Randle, is like a collection of building blocks: characters transform it into everything from roaring ocean waves to an imposing gate to a scientific lab on the moon. "

Lily Janiak, San Francisco Bay Times

"Directed with flair by Ben Randle. In only about 70 minutes, Lee and director Randle fashion an epic quest full of family drama and end-of-the-world nightmares with help from Randle['s] ... paper-strewn black-and-white set. "

Chad Jones, Theaterdogs

"Into the Clear Blue Sky may be set in a futuristic world beset by cannibals and sea monsters, but its primary concerns are those close to the heart.

Under Ben Randle's direction, the actors morph easily from their characters into parts of the set and even the lighting team, making the most of a small budget with their large collaborative effort."

Nicole Gluckstern, San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Lushly poetic, full of funny turns of phrase and gags about what a hellhole New Jersey is.  It’s also packed with strong imagery, such as the letters delivered by paper birds on a stick, and that’s definitely true of Ben Randle’s visually appealing production as well.

Randle’s evocative set is all black-and-white, with overlarge scraps of handwritten notes hanging on the back wall and a pattern of white shards on the black floor that looks like a rectangle that quickly shatters into chaos but is later revealed to represent a tree. "

Sam Hurwitt, The Idiolect

 

Treefall

"[A] primal, jarring gospel of misaligned familial instincts, idiosyncratic faith, and sexual desperation. 

In Treefall,  New Conservatory Theatre director Ben Randle has another ambitious work on his hand, from the daring pen of playwright Henry Murray. Randle has said he continues to be drawn to the provocative, and this post-apocalyptic story of three boys who cling to each other for sanity and survival's sake pushes the Randle oeuvre further into the fringes."

Chris Trenchard, SF Weekly

""Treefall uses adolescent sexual awakening to explore themes of adult responsibility, bisexuality and gender identity ... This production directed by Ben Randle uses four actors and a distressed set to present thought-evoking drama."

Albert Goodwyn, San Francisco Bay Times

 

Doubt

Nominated, 3 Bay Area Critics Circle Awards, including Best Director (Ben Randle) and Best Ensemble.

"One of the TOP TEN productions of 2010!

Ben Randle directed John Patrick Shanley’s drama with skillful subtlety, evoking startling performances."

Tom W. Kelly, San Francisco Bay Times

“This intensely intimate production …  brings the erring priest and the vindictive nun right into the laps of the audience. The effect is thought-provoking, heart-rending and sometimes humorous.

Shanley's writing deftly interweaves a number of very specific themes with ambiguous propositions and Ben Randle's direction highlights both sides with a highly developed sense of aesthetic sensibility.”

 Albert Goodwyn, San Francisco Examiner

“Ben Randle's production connects with both the play's dramatic and hot-button strengths … A powerful piece of theater.

 Richard Dodds, Bay Area Reporter

 

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus (2009, Mama Calizo Voice Factory)

“The music, visuals, and dance … wildly whisk the audience to an amazing world of non-stop surprises.  Too much fun

Direction by Ben Randle keeps the festivities moving fast and furious.  His visuals range from body-geometries and funky floor dances to well-placed stage pictures.  And all are imbued with ritualistic qualities, lending the show a groovy gravitas

San Francisco alternative theatre at its best!  Check out Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus to see the wildly theatrical antics of the talented up-and-coming generation. “

Tom W. Kelly, San Francisco Bay Times

 

Andronicus

Randle is most creative … All I could do was applaud. It was utterly bizarre and utterly brilliant!”

Denise Battista, The Shakespeare Revue