David Grapes

David Grapes

Director of the School of Theatre Arts and Dance

School of Theatre Arts and Dance
College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact Information

(970) 351-2323
Frasier 105

Professional/Academic Experience

An award-winning director, actor and playwright, David has provided administrative, financial, and artistic leadership for a wide variety of theatrical institutions including two professional regional theatres, 3D productions - a commercial bus and truck touring company, two nationally recognized university theatre departments, a variety of summer stock companies, and a number of large professional not-for-profit regional and civic theatres.

Prior to his arrival at UNC, he served for six years as the Producing Artistic Director of Tennessee Repertory Theatre (LORT C). While in Nashville, he produced 36 productions including three world premieres, established an "off- Broadway season" of contemporary plays, expanded the Rep's education/outreach department, and was the recipient of eight "Tennie Awards" for Best Direction by the Nashville Tennessean.

During his 30-year career in the theatre, David has produced over 800 major productions that span nearly every genre of dramatic literature. His work as a director (200+ productions) has been seen from coast to coast in such theatres as the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Asolo Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Theatre by the Sea, ArtPark, Madison Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Barter Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Blowing Rock Stage Company, Tuacahn Amphitheatre, Seven Angels Theatre, Little Theatre on the Square, Muhlenberg Summer Theatre, Western Michigan's Cherry County Playhouse, Straw Hat Players, American Stage, El Portal Theatre, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and Dollywood.

Professional acting credits include leading roles in Cyrano de Bergerac, Amadeus, The Miser, The School For Wives, The Merchant of Venice, A Christmas Carol, ART, The Cherry Orchard, Talley's Folly, The Importance of Being Ernest, A Man For All Seasons, August Osage County and The Drawer Boy. Born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, David is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers, the Dramatist Guild of America, and is a graduate of Glenville State College and the MFA Acting/Directing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2010, David was honored by Glenville State College as its Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

He is the creator/co-author (with Todd Olson) of four musical revues; My Way - A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Christmas My Way - A Sinatra Holiday Bash, Moon River - Johnny Mercer's American Songbook, and I Left My Heart - A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett, which have been performed at over 400 theatres world wide. He is also creator/co-author (with Robert Neblett) of Simply Simone – The Music of Nina Simone and the plays Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream, a film noir adaptation of Bram Stocker's famous novel Dracula and a musical adaptation of Twelfth Night: or Gun Fight at the Illyria Corral. David has premiered a number of other original works at UNC including Babes in Hollywood - The Music of Garland and Rooney (2007), which opened the 73rd LTR Season, One More For My Baby (2011), which opened the 77th LTR Season and Queen Lear (2012). David is also a published theatre photographer.