David Grapes II (Co-Creator) is currently a Professor of Theatre and the Director of the School of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Here he administers one of the country’s largest undergraduate theatre programs (340 majors) and serves as the Producer for UNC’s 72 year-old professional summer stock company the Little Theatre of the Rockies.
Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, David served for six years as the Producing Artistic Director of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre a LORT C&D regional theatre located in Nashville, TN. There he produced 36 productions including three world premieres, established an “off-Broadway season” of contemporary plays, worked with numerous guest stars, expanded the Rep’s education department, forged new relationships with local academic and cultural institutions, initiated two co-productions with sister theatre Arkansas Rep and was the recipient of 8 “Tennie Awards” for Best Direction. David’s 2001 production of West Side Story featuring the late Kenneth Schermerhorn and the Nashville Symphony was recorded for Naxos International and has received numerous national and inter-national awards for excellence.
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 & 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. During his 29-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 (150+ productions) has been seen from coast to coast.
David 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 300 theatres world wide. His film noir play Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream (with Robert Neblett) had its world premiere at TN Rep in 2003.
Born and raised in Parkersburg West Virginia, David is a graduate of the MFA Theatre Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is an active member of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers, the Dramatists Guild of America and Actors' Equity Association.
David’s recent directorial credits include productions for Denver Theatre Center Attractions, Muhlenburg Summer Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Seven Angels Theatre, Little Theatre of the Rockies and Dollywood.
For UNC David’s directorial credits include: Candida, Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream, Bleacher Bums, Rounding Third, The Tempest, Tuesday’s With Morrie, The Drawer Boy, and Titanic The Musical.
David’s recent guest directorial credits include productions for Denver Theatre Center Attractions, Asolo Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Seven Angels Theatre, American Stage Company, Barter Theatre, Flatrock Playhouse, Little Theatre on the Square, Muhlenburg Summer Theatre and Dollywood.
Member, Actor’s Equity Association (AEA
Member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSD&C)
Member, The Dramatists Guild of America (DGA)
Robert Neblett (Playwright) is an award-winning freelance director, dramaturg, and playwright located in Dallas, TX. Robert is an alumnus of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where he earned a BA in English and a BA in Theatre. As a graduate student, he attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned an MA in Dramatic Literature and is currently completing a PhD in Comparative and Dramatic Literature. He has taught theatre and literature at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Community College-Meramec, and SUNY-Oneonta.
Under the artistic direction of David Grapes, he served as Dramaturg and Assistant Director on several productions with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre: Cyrano de Bergerac and Romeo and Juliet in 2000; A Streetcar Named Desire in 2002; The Taming of the Shrew in 2003; and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Diary of Anne Frank in 2005.
He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and The Dramatists Guild of America, and has worked with the Alley Theatre, Edison Theatre, Texas Playwrights Festival, Actors Renaissance Theatre, St. Louis Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Dallas, and Dallas Hub Theatre. As Founding Artistic Director of (Mostly) Harmless Theatre in St. Louis , he directed Defying Gravity, Fuddy Meers, Lycanthrophobia, The Final Interrogation of Ceausescu's Dog, Dancing with a Devil, Cyclone of Rage, The Laramie Project, Anton in Show Business, The Lysistrata Project, Jouét: A Rock Musical, and Four Modern Noh Plays. Other notable productions include The Skriker, the dreamer examines his pillow, and Polaroid Stories.
Other scripts he has created/written/adapted include Dracula: The Case of the Silent Scream (also licensed through Summerwind Productions), Roundabout, A Wrinkle in Time, Alice in Wonderland, and Lysistrata. He has published articles in American Theatr e and New England Theatre Journal.
Robert L. Neblett
Member, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA)
Associate Member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSD&C)
Member, The Dramatists Guild of America (DGA)
Vince di Mura (Pianist/Composer) is a veteran performer of concert stages throughout North America, Canada, and Latin America. He has performed in concert halls from Aguascalientes (Mexico) to Seattle (Washington), as well as hundreds of venues in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Mr. di Mura's first commercially released CD, "Imperfect Balance" is available on line at CDNOW and Amazon.com.
Mr. di Mura holds fellowships from the William Goldman Foundation, Temple University, Meet the Composer, CEPAC, the Union County Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation for his work in "World Jazz."
In demand as a Musical Director, he has conducted shows and seasons at the Barn Theatre in Augusta Michigan, Bucks County Playhouse, Artpark and Company in Lewiston N.Y., Tennessee Repertory Company in Nashville, The Asolo Theatre Company and American Stage in Florida, Passage Theatre, Act II Playhouse, The Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, and The Muhlenburg Summer Theatre Festival.
Mr. di Mura has fulfilled compositional commissions for Rutgers and Princeton Universities, Rider University, the University of Colorado, The Scioto Society, Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a host of scores for People's Light and Theatre Company including his 1999 Barrymore Award nominated score for "More Grimm's Tales," and the premier production of “Sleeping Beauty”; A Panto in the British Style. Most recently, Mr. Di Mura created full arrangements for American Stage’s production of “I Left My Heart”; A Tribute to Tony Bennett: Licensed by Summerwind Productions.
Mr. di Mura served as Artist in Residence for the New Jersey School of the Arts, Department of Education, and as the Resident Musical Director for McCarter Theatre's outreach department. He has been a professor at Temple University, guest lecturer in Music History at Fairleigh Dickenson University, and currently serves on the staff of the Theatre and Dance Departments of Princeton University and as professor of Jazz Piano at the Lawrenceville School.
Best known for his arrangements of "My Way: A Sinatra Cabaret," Mr. di Mura has musical directed a slew of nation wide productions of the show included runs at the Blowing Rock Stage Company and Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina, Western Michigan’s Cherry County Playhouse, The Barter Theatre in Virginia, and Arkansas Repertory Company in Little Rock.
In February 2004, Mr. di Mura premiered a concert version of his new spoken word/jazz opera, “A Poet In Harlem:” With text by Nuyorican poet, Willie Perdomo. Future projects include a new performance piece based on the Vietnam poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa, and the release of his new jazz CD, "In Memory Of Brian Espinoza."