David Young is currently Professor Emeritus and previously for twenty years was the Graduate Research Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida. He teaches Directing, Acting, Creative Process and Playwriting.
He was for over 15 years the Producing Director of the American College Theater Festival (ACTF) at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. KC/ACTF is a national educational theatre program involving more than 500 colleges and universities in its network and having an audience numbering more than one million annually.
Dr. Young’s duties included budgeting, fund-raising, audience development, and producing and directing the National Festival, which was held each April at the Center. He recruited national and international figures for adjudication and guest appearances; Helen Hayes, Cicely Tyson, Marshall Mason, Patricia Zipprodt, Jane Alexander, Peter Falk, Ed Sherin, William Gibson, Ming Cho Lee, Michael Kahn, and Richard Thomas are among those who have participated. In addition, Dr. Young planned and supervised all KC/ACTF awards, including those in acting, criticism, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and the award honoring the best student-written musical.
Dr. Young holds a PhD from ColumbiaPacificUniversity, and began his career at the Dramatic Workshop at the NewSchool for Social Research in New York with the noted German director, Erwin Piscator. He is a member of Actors Equity Association, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. He is also a past president of the American Community Theatre Association (now AACT); a recipient of the American Association of Community Theatre National Patrons Award; and has been elected to College of Fellows of the American Theatre.
He is the author of How to Direct A Musical, published by Routledge Books and Audience Development and Services for the Community, published by Penn State University Press. Dr. Young has taught classes in directing, acting and musical theatre in the U.S., Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Senegal and Greece. He has been a guest lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution.
Off-Broadway, Dr. Young directed Trish Van Devere in her New York debut and co-produced and acted in a pre-Broadway tryout of a play Angel on the Loose. He has directed more than 125 productions, including Tribes, Ajax in Iraq,Amadeus, Six Characters In Search of An Author, Vincent in Brixton, The Cripple of Inishmaan, You Never Can Tell, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, How I Learned to Drive, The Clean House, An Inspector Calls, Tribes, and Ajax in Iraq. He has also directed over thirty original plays by students and recognized authors. Musicals he has directed include Most Happy Fella, Guys and Dolls, Company, and The Boy Friend.
Prior to working in Washington, Dr. Young was artistic director of the Mark Twain Masquers, a civic theatre in Hartford, CT, and was for many years a professional actor, appearing on NBC-TV's "Medallion Theatre" with Richard Kiley, Off-Broadway with Anne Meara, and on tour with Colleen Dewhurst. He has appeared on the “Powerhouse Series” for Public Television and on National Public Radio in a series about F. Scott Fitzgerald and acted in Lady from the Sea and Pack of Lies in Washington D.C. He was also a guest artist in Noises Off at the Pennsylvania Stage Company.
As an actor, he performed the play Love Letters in London and Winchester, Edinburgh, Moscow, Costa Rica, the Salzburg Festival in Austria, and a short tour of South Africa.
Additionally, he has been a lecturer at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a national judge for the National Society of Arts and Letters. He is a founding member of the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, D.C., served as artistic adviser (theatre) for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and is listed in Who's Who in American Theatre. In 2012, Dr. Young received the Kennedy Center National Partner’s Award for Life Long Service to the Theater.
Dr. Young was a consultant for the Fund for Arts and Culture in Washington, DC. While in Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains of Russia, he assisted in providing 35 theatre companies with information on promotion and audience development.