David Zak has won 7 Jeff Awards in Chicago, including four for Directing (Animal Farm, Dr. Sex, Parade, and Pope Joan), two for writing (The Hiroshima Project, The Count of Monte Cristo) and a special Jeff for “Fostering Diversity in Chicago Theater.”
He recently was Jeff Nominated for directing the world premiere of Leo Schwartz’s musical Under A Rainbow Flag. He has directed in London (The Irish Curse), Seoul (Dollhouse and Fanta Stick), Dublin (Oh, Holy Allen Ginsberg), Boston (Sin: A Cardinal Deposed), Los Angeles (Dr. Sex and At The Flash) and New York (Marlowe and Poseidon: An Upside Down Musical).
He is Executive Director of Pride Films and Plays, Chicago, and Artistic Director of Summer Pride Fest at Chandler (VT). His productions of the American Premieres of Jerry Springer - The Opera and Sir Peter Hall’s Animal Farm were named Best Musical in Chicago, as were his production of Parade, Pope Joan, and Dennis DeYoung’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. He has recent projects throughout Chicagoland have ranged from one-man shows (At the Flash) to epics with a cast of 100 (Evita). He was Artistic Director of Bailiwick Repertory for 27 years, and is an educator and journalist. He is a member of SDC, the union on Stage Directors and Choreographers.
Since leaving Bailiwick in 2009, he was worked extensively overseas, including four extensive trips as a teacher and director in first Seoul and then Jeonju in South Korea. He was thrilled for the opportunity to work in a bi-lingual situation, and was able to absorb the excellent cultural opportunities and educational strategies of South Korean students. He met extensively with Korean playwrights and producers, and has a keen understanding of how arts funding from government and other sources can impact a culture. And he learned from the Korean culture how placing new arts venues into business complexes can be profitable for all.
He aspires to continue his artistic work and educational pursuits in multi-cultural environments.
After college he taught High School Drama from 1979-81, before moving to Chicago to pursue professional theater work. He worked full time at Bailiwick Repertory from 1982 to 2009, while teaching part time. In the last few years, he has worked as a free-lance director in the USA and abroad.
© David G. Zak