Ben Elling was a PFO teen for two years. During his time in the organization Ben worked on the Scout Night and Set Committees. He also ran sound for PFO’s “Honk the Musical” and played Murray in PFO’s 2010 Spring Musical, “There’s A Monster in my Closet”.

Ben attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, earning a degree in Political Science and Dramatic Art.

While in school, Ben pursued his passion for the arts. He has had experience in set design, playwrighting, acting, and puppetry. Ben has had many diverse performance opportunities, from starting an independent theater company, to performing with world-class artists. This October Ben will be performing in New York City as a part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. He is a puppeteer in the New York Premiere of Basil Twist’s Rite of Spring, an abstract puppet ballet set to composer Igor Stravinksky’s infamous “Rite of Spring”. It has been reviewed by The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine.

Ben currently works for PFO! This year he joined the team as a full time staff member. In addition to being PFO’s Communication Coordinator, Ben is the Children’s Book and Children’s Theater Experience Advisor. He is thrilled to return to work for an organization that gave him so much as teen. PFO taught him how to be accountable to his community and to lead with confidence. Ben can’t wait to see what amazing things PFO will do this year!

What was your favorite event?
I loved the Red Carpet event for our buddies. There is something so magical about that performance. I will never forget my buddy Cole’s face as he walked down the carpet. He was absolutely overflowing with happiness. It is a moment I will never forget.

What did you learn in PFO that still impacts you today?
PFO taught me how to take the initiative on the projects I’m working on. When you speak and act with confidence others will join you on the journey to reaching your goals.

What are you passionate about now?
I am passionate about the possibilities of collaboration in the arts. I can’t wait to work with the teens this year on our book and show. Working with others to create is the highlight of my life.