An accomplished actress born in Malvern Arkansas, Fran Bennett earned a BS, MS and credit toward a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has acted in New York in such plays as Mandingo with the late Franchot Tone, The Cantilevered Terrace with Mildred Dunnock, Comedy of Errors, In White America and Mahalia. Ms. Bennett has done summer stock including Finian?s Rainbow, Pal Joe and Here Today with the late Tallulah Bankhead, who introduced her on Johnny Carson?s The Tonight Show. Fran was the voice and movement director of the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis for 12 years as well as an actress in the company, acting in such plays as Pantagleize, Oedipus, House of Atreus, The Crucible, Dr. Faustus, The White Devil and The National Health.
Ms. Bennett was trained by Kristin Linklater in her first voice teacher training program and is a Master Voice Teacher with Shakespeare and Company based in Lenox, Massachusetts, as well as an associate director of the Company of Women created by Kristin Linklater and Carol Gilligan. Under Rockefeller and Ford Foundation grants, Fran studied movement with Litz Pisk at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. While in London she taught at the London Academy of Dramatic Art as well as privately to such actors as Anna Massey and Evelyn Laye. She has led voice production workshop throughout the U.S. including University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of Mississippi, Iowa State University, Fisk University, Garnegie-Mellon and Joe Chakin?s The Working Theatre. As a professional actress working in TV and movies she has guest starred in numerous TV shows and movie of the week, including Diff?rent Strokes, Roots II, One Day at a Time, The Violation of Sarah McDavid, L.A. Law, In the Heat of the Night, Quantum Leap, Becker, City of Angels, Chicago Hope, Any Day Now and the upcoming Crazy as Hell, directed by Eriq La Salle. She is a member of Antaeus and the Los Angeles Women?s Shakespeare Company, with whom she played Othello in Othello, Margaret in Richard III, the Duke in Measure for Measure and Theseus/Oberon in Midsummer Night?s Dream.