For the last twenty five years, David H. Bell's career has spanned a wide range of International and National projects, as Director, Choreographer and author. As Artistic Director of the historic Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C., David inaugurated such World Premiere musicals as ELMER GANTRY, A CHRISTMAS CAROL (adapter), and HOT MIKADO (author -- winner Helen Hayes Award, BEST DIRECTOR) as well as the recent record breaking productions of 1776, and CHILDREN OF EDEN (Helen Hayes Nominee, BEST CHOREOGRAPHY).
In Chicago David's work has earned 43 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations (winning the award 11 times). His work at the prestigious Chicago Shakespeare Theatre includes the recent popular productions of TAMING OF THE SHREW, AS YOU LIKE IT (winner of the After Dark Award, BEST DIRECTOR), and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. At the Marriott Theatre, David has directed over 30 productions including THE BOWERY BOYS (author/director), SHENANDOAH, FOOTLOOSE, MATADOR (BEST CHOREOGRAPHY), PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, CHESS, LITTLE ME (winner BEST DIRECTOR, BEST CHOREOGRAPHER) and WINDY CITY. At Drury Lane Oakbrok, David has directed his world premiere productions of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and a new adaption of THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (winner BEST CHOREOGRAPHY).
In New York City David has directed both on and off Broadway. He directed PICTURES IN THE HALL featuring songs by long time collaborator and friend, Craig Carnelia, which garnered both the Bistro and the Mac awards. As well as, the all-star productions of the DIFFA TRIBUTE TO EDITH HEAD (Michael Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Julianne Moore, Roddy MacDowell, etc,), HEARTSTRINGS (Sandy Duncan, Patti LuPone, Salt N"Peppa, Sara Gilbert -- televised for ABC, under the name of IN A NEW LIGHT), and the Museum of The City of New York salute to 130 years of the American Musical GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY at Carnegie Hall, (Richard Kiley, Jule Styne, Carol Channing, Jerry Orback, Chita Rivera, Jerry Herman, George Abbott, etc,).
Internationally, David has worked on London's West End on HOT MIKADO (author - Laurence Olivier Award Nominee), Manchester's Bridgewater Hall (author - THEATRE OF DREAMS), Berlin on DIE SCHONE UND DAS BIEST, Barcelona on THE SPIRIT OF ATLANTA (for the 1992 Olympic closing ceremonies), Paris, Budapest, Vienna, etc. with THE HARLEM GOSPEL SINGERS, "Toronto with PATSY! and the European Tour of the DIRTY DANCING CONCERT TOUR.
As associate Director to Kenny Leon at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, David directed over twenty productions including THE GRAPES OF WRATH, CHESS (AJC award BEST MUSICAL, BEST DIRECTOR), ROMEO AND JULIET, BLOOD KNOT (AJC award BEST PLAY, BEST DIRECTOR), THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (AJC Award - BEST DIRECTOR).
David has Directed and Choreographed productions authored by Jimmy Buffett and Herman Wouk (DONT STOP THE CARNIVAL-- Coconut Grove Playhouse), Cy Coleman and Russell Baker (13 DAYS TO BROADWAY -- New York Workshop), Marta Kauffman and David Crane, (ARTHUR-- THE MUSICAL), Tony Macaulay, and Dick Vosburgh, (WINDY CITY -- Paper Mill Theatre, Marriott Theatre), and as book writer with Craig Carnelia; ACTOR, LAWYER, INDIAN CHIEF. (Goodspeed Opera House), and STUDS TERKEL'S--THE GOOD WAR (Northlight Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre), and with Rita Abrams, he created the long running Las Vegas hit MEN ARE FROM MARS/WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS for the Flamingo Hotel.
Recently, David's production GUT BUCKET BLUES was nominated for 7 of Atlanta's Bass Awards (including best Director, Author and Musical). MURDER FOR TWO, directed and choreographed for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, won Chicago's 2011 Best New Musical Joseph Jefferson Award. He also opened THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (2011) and HAMLET (2012) at Notre Dame Shakespeare Theatre. This past summer, David supervised 8 short 45 minute musicals created for the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival to accompany the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Washington D.C.
David is a full professor and the Director of Music Theatre at Northwestern University.
He is also the Artistic Director of THE AMERICAN MUSIC THEATRE PROGRAM (AMTP)