Alumna Benita de Wit '16 Directed 'Salty' at Access Theatre

May 29, 2018

Alumna Benita de Wit '16 directed a production earlier this month of Saltya new play by Aaron Richard Johnson that just had its world premiere in NYC at the Access Theatre. The production was staged managed by Alumna Jenny Ainsworth '14 and featured Alumna Cassandra Nwokah '17.


Salty follows a flock of zookeepers and a pen of cheeky penguins on a bittersweet journey to what might be the end of the world. Johnson's new play picks up years from now at one of the nation's few remaining zoos. With mysterious terminal illnesses and high infant mortality, it's evident Nature's on her way out and taking everybody with her. Exploring gender, sexuality, and parenthood, this tragicomedy unearths the instinctual need to love in an otherwise destructive world. A fishy cocktail of delightful humor and devastation, Salty is an exhibit on life that peers through the glass with brave compassion,” according to the play's description. 


Salty was produced by Lyra Theater, a NYC non-for profit company that aims "to launch the next generation of theater artists onto the American stage. Through our productions, workshops, and open-submission policy, Lyra creates theater that aims to challenge audiences, build communities, reflect the diversity of our world, and investigate what it means to be a citizen of the 21st century," according to their website. 


Benita de Wit is an Australian director based in New York. About Salty, she said: “This play is important because it's about making the best of things. About helping each other and being kind and doing what you can to make things even just the smallest bit better. That's what drew me to this script. It's not about having all the answers or the power to effect change on a global scale. It's about what you do with what you have.”


Benita has developed new work at Barn Arts Residency, Voxfest (Dartmouth University), Exquisite Corpse Company, Lone Star Theatre Co, Undiscovered Countries, and Theatre for the New City. She is a Dame Joan Sutherland Fellow, Ars Musica Australis Fellow, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Fellow and associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.