DAVID IAN LEE
David's life in the theatre began when at the age of six he performed in a four-minute adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. He would go on to play a bunny rabbit in his third-grade talent show. Since then he has worked as a director, playwright, actor, educator, dancer, choreographer, critic, combatant, producer, prop master, usher, and coach.
Born and raised in Southern California, David received his BFA in Acting & Directing from the University of Arizona and his MFA in Directing from Illinois State University. David is a proud graduate of New York's William Esper Studio, where he studied with William Esper and Terry Knickerbocker. He has been a cohort at Directors Lab West and the La Mama International Directors Symposium, and regularly presents research and new practices at national conventions.
David has served as a director or assistant director in New York for the Pearl Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Source, Flux Theatre Ensemble, and Boomerang Theatre Company. He has directed plays, musicals, operas, short films, feature films, and political campaign videos across the country. In 2019, David simultaneously directed plays in two separate states, placing his work at the forefront of what would become the Zoom-theatre movement. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, David became a champion of virtual theatre, directing, producing, and shepherding content that is both innovative and ethical.
As a playwright, his works include THE LATCHKEY POOL, mass, THE DELAWARE CODICIL, LIBERTY & JOE DIMAGGIO, and SLEEPER. His play THE CURING ROOM saw back-to-back productions in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, produced by Stripped Down Productions, followed by consecutive Canadian productions by Theatre BSMT and Theatre Outré. The play has been translated into multiple languages, with a nearly two-year engagement in Athens, Greece (in a production translated by Adonis Galeos) and an extended run in Johannesburg, South Africa (in a production translated by Frans Swart).
As an actor, he has performed internationally and with renowned American regional theatres including Utah Shakespeare, Sedona Shakespeare, New York Classical Theatre, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Repertory Theatre, and the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, among others. After moving to New York in 2001, he originated roles in dozens of new works developed by some of his favorite artists in the off-off Broadway community, including Nat Cassidy, Mac Rogers, and Corinna Schulenberg.
Film & television credits include “As The World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” the web series "Scenes From the Movies," and the award-winning short PINECONE, based on his short play.
David has had the honor of performing with and learning from artists including John Barton, Jason Alexander, Harriet Harris, Buck Henry, Marc Kudisch, Anthony Mackie, Ellen McLaughlin, Denis O'Hare, Brad Oscar, and Patrick Page.
David is a founding member of and Producing Artistic Director for Pipeline-Collective, an organization that proudly declares "We are not a theatre company." Pipeline-Collective's flagship new works program The Salon has collaborated globally with over 350 actors, writers, and directors in the development of over 200 new plays. For more information, please visit www.pipeline-collective.com.
David currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where he serves on the faculty of the Theatre & Dance Program in the Department of Communications at Tennessee State University.
Favorite credit: Father to Beckett Harrison Lee, on which David collaborated with his wife, Karen.