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Dan has been a theatre director, playwright, improvisor, street performer, actor, motivational speaker, and comedian since graduating from clown school in 2001. He co-created cult improv sensations Perfuct Storm and Improv Seduction and is the creator of the bafflingly popular sleep-aid podcast Dan Bain’s Sleepy Time Mumbles. As a multi-award winning standup his comedy reflects his unique perspective and cheerful vulgarity, all filtered through his desperate attempts to appear clever. 

Dan's work as a writer for theatre includes Ivy Black: Axe Murder Girl, and The Light in the Sky, the silent children's shows A Paintbox of Clowns, Why Are My Parents So Boring?  and Cat Vs. Dog; the Young and Hungry commissions Gameplan and Uncle Minotaur; the comedy Stag Weekend (with Brendon Bennetts); high school musical The Invisibles (with Luke Di Somma), and his multiple versions of A Christmas Carol. He most recently adapted Homer’s The Odyssey for three comedy actors.

His book on live performance technique These Are NOT the Rules of Improvisation is available from the Playmarket bookshop and online at

One of Aotearoa’s most experienced theatre directors, his credits include Titus Andronicus, Stephen King’s Misery, Ideation, and The Arsonists for The Court; Around the World in 80 Days, and The Odyssey for CCC Summer Theatre; and Cancel Santa for Little Andromeda.

Dan was Associate Director of The Court Theatre from 2017 - 2020 and Artistic Director of The Court Jesters from 2014 - 2020. 

He is currently the Artistic and Programming Director of Little Andromeda Fringe Theatre.

Court Shows