Katherine Banks is an actor dedicated to the art of truthful storytelling. She also uses her skills as an actor – specificity, partnership, and analysis – in her work as a teacher and a business communications specialist.
As an actor, Katherine works in the mediums of theatre, film, commercials, industrials, and voiceovers. Most recently, she appeared onstage in Buzz22 Chicago's sold-out production of She Kills Monsters presented as part of the Steppenwolf Garage Rep series. Other Chicago theatre credits include The Real Thing (Illinois Theatre Center), Leaving Iowa (Royal George Theatre & Fox Valley Rep), The Awesome 80s Prom (Davenport Theatricals), Wonders Never Cease (Provision Theater), A Christmas Carol (Provision Theater), The Violence of My Affection (The Brigata), The Comedy of Errors (Oak Park Festival Theatre), Tent Meeting (Circle Theatre), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre).
Onscreen, she appeared in the independent film QWERTY, which earned 3 out of 4 stars from Roger Ebert. Her most recent commercial for Volkswagen was a Super Bowl spot that was hailed by the New York Daily News as one of the top five ads of 2013's big game. She has also done commercials for Jewel-Osco, LasVegas.com, Perkins, and American Greetings's justWink; industrials for Sears, Aprilaire, and Stericycle; and voiceovers for Jewel-Osco, First Midwest Bank, Hotel Indigo, Sittercity.com, 24-7 Comfort, and others. Katherine received her BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Michigan and continued her professional training at the School at Steppenwolf. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.
Katherine has long been passionate about arts education and theatre for young audiences. She teaches performing arts, including drama, dance, and music, and has been Pulse Beat Music's teaching-artist-in-residence at St. Therese Chinese Catholic School since 2012. She is also a visiting instructor at The Viola Project, where she teaches middle school girls about Shakespeare.
In addition to teaching, Katherine is the Outreach Coordinator for Oak Park Festival Theatre and performs in its production of Shakespeare: Scenes, Sonnets & Songs at local schools. She has also worked with Adventure Stage Chicago, AlphaBet Soup Productions, and ArtsLanes as a Theatre-for-Young-Audiences performer. Finally, Katherine is a literacy tutor for students preschool to adult, having completed coursework in Arts Education at Oxford University and trained as a writing tutor at the University of Michigan's Sweetland Writing Center.
In her role as a business communications specialist, Katherine is able to combine her loves of acting, teaching, and clarity. She is a frequent participant in presentation skills workshops, trade shows, live industrials, interactive training sessions, and secret shopping missions. She collaborates with innovative and effective training organizations and messaging specialists, including Workplace Interactors, Live Marketing, The Breakthrough Group, and Mondo Learning Solutions. In the legal field, she has worked as an actor for deposition and trial training at Kirkland & Ellis LLP's training institute, and, in the medical field, she has worked as a standardized patient for the Masters in Nursing program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a private speech coach.
Katherine brings experience, enthusiasm, and a strong work ethic to each of her clients and employers. On a personal level, she is always happy to discuss Detroit (her hometown), green tea, and soap operas.