Ben Elliott was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. As one of four siblings, he had a built in audience that he sought to entertain. And entertain he did: at the age of two he delighted the kids on the school bus picking up his brothers by putting on a bunny costume and popping out from a new hiding place every morning. His first regular gig. Growing up in a musical family meant that piano lessons were complemented by family jam sessions. Recitals quickly gave way to composing, and included such classics as ‘Hotels & Motels’ & ‘Freddy The Squirrel’.
A naturally adventurous streak, coupled with a natural athleticism meant more trips for Ben to the ER than for most kids. The common theme was that every injury was self-inflicted, and earned often in the pursuit of comedy.
After high school, Ben attended Bishops University, earning himself a BA in Philosophy, but also enjoyed all the extra curricular that University life had to offer. He entertained countless keg parties and outdoor gatherings with his band ‘The Water Solubles’, he participated in the drama department’s countless productions, he hosted his own radio show, “Musical A.D.D.” on CJMQ 88.9, and he also sang with the Bishops University Singers, under the direction of Jamie Crooks.
At Kilcoo Camp, a summer camp based in Minden ON, Ben found not only a captive and enthusiastic audience as the camp piano player, but also a new appreciation for the power of theatre and music: he directed his first shows there – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and David Mamet’s The Revenge of the Space Pandas or Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock.
Life took Ben to Vancouver, where he jumped feet first in to the Studio 58 Acting programme at Langara College. Developing his skills with the holistic approach proscribed there allowed him to explore writing, acting, directing and composing. While there he was awarded the Sydney J. Risk Foundation Acting Prize in recognition of outstanding skills in acting and the Gertrude Langridge Theatre Arts Scholarship for exhibiting strong and consistent contribution to the Theatre Arts ensemble. While there, Ben also teamed up with fellow student Anton Lipovetsky and Hannah Johnson, and co-created The Park, which had two productions at the school and won an Ovation award for Best New Musical. He has continued write with Anton and is currently collaborating with him, Josh Epstein and Kyle Rideout to convert the novel Monoceros by Suzette Mayr into a new Canadian Musical. They were just awarded a commission from the Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals from The Musical Stage Company in Toronto as well as a Canada Council grant to continue its development.
Since his graduation from Studio 58, Ben has worked across Canada, as an actor, musical director, composer and sound designer. Companies he has worked for include Carousel Theatre, Western Canada Theatre, Theatre Replacement, The ArtsClub, The Citadel, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Theatre Passe Muraille, The Firehall Arts Centre, Pacific Theatre, The Yukon Arts Centre, and Bard On The Beach, where he is also an Artistic Associate. Ben is an 8 time Jessie Richardson Award nominee and In 2012 won a Jessie for his Musical Direction in Bard’s production of The Merry Wives Of Windsor.