Playwright David Grapes to present workshops at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre will host playwright/director David Grapes as a guest artist for two days of educational workshops.

On Thursday, March 6, Grapes will visit classes in the department of theatre where he will discuss auditioning techniques and working in theatre. He will also respond to a reading of a new musical written by Elliott Graber, a student in the B.F.A. musical theatre program. On Friday, March 7, Grapes will conduct an open forum on the collaborative process of theatre artists and music artists when working together to develop new musicals. This forum, which is open to the public, is from 2 - 4 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre. 

Grapes is director of the School of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Northern Colorado and executive producer for UNC's 73-year-old professional summer stock company, The Little Theatre of the Rockies.  He is the creator/co-author of “My Way - A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” which the USD Playhouse produced last summer; “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.” Collectively, these musical revues have been performed at more than 300 theatres worldwide.   Most recently, he was creator and co-author of “Simply Simone – The Music of Nina Simone” and the stage play, “Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream,” a new film noir adaptation of Bram Stocker’s famous novel. As a director of more than 150 productions, Grapes’ work has been seen throughout the country, including at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville and the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Fla.

For more information on Grapes’ visit, please contact Charlotte Guyette, associate professor of theatre, at (605) 677-5742. A photo of Grapes is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/David_Grapes.jpg.