ARTABAN The Other Wiseman

Michael Jesse Bennett


Mr. Bennett was born and raised in Salt Lake City, attended the University of Uah, which was interrupted by a stint in the army from 1951 to 1953, during which he spent seven months in Korea.


After receiving a Masters degree in Retailing from NYU in New York City in 1955, he worked for the next 22 years in Department stores in Dayton, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Pittsburg and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and with ZCMI in Salt Lake City.


He and his wife, Jan (with whom he has been happily married for 43 years) have a combined family of 10 children, 34 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.


The rest of the story is that in 1978, he quit his job (he really hated the department store business) to do what he had always wanted to do….having worked on the fringes for most of his life, he became a professional actor. He has appeared in over 100 films including eight episodes of Touched by an Angel. His (30 plus) professional theatre appearances include appearances in Louisville, Kentucky and Houston, Texas, Several seasons with the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, one summer with The Old Lyric Repertory Company in Logan, and three seasons with the Grand Teton Mainstage Theatre in Jackson, Wyoming. With over 500 radio and TV commercials to his credit, as well as appearances as narrator in dozens of industrial films and live performances, including appearances with the Utah Symphony Orchestra and the Tabernacle Choir, he is, perhaps, best known for writing and appearing in the genre of one-man-shows, which he has taken to 182 communities in 20 states. Although several have been deleted from his repertoire, he continues to perform his An Evening with Dickens (42 years), Patrick Henry (26 years), Christopher Columbus (21 years) and A Man of the Mountains (15 years). Altogether, Mr. Bennett has given over 1500 performances for over 240,000 people, including 116,000 school children, grades K through 12, work which earned him the 1996 George Washington Award from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.




Daniel Carter - Composer & Lyricist

Justin Bills - Musical Director

Mike Carson - Accompanist

Michael Jesse Bennett - Narrator

Stoker White - Recording

Soularium Studios

Dan Freed - Artist




Artaban - Dallyn Bayles

Darius - Darrell Babidge

Sariah - Cecily Ellis-Bills

Philo - Justin Bills

Kaveh - Bradley Lever

Raechel - Grace Bjarnson

Tziporah - Samantha Gibbons

Older Tziporah - Gwen Juvenal




Chorus - Children's

Chorus - Men's

Chorus - Women's