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BIOGRAPHY - DAVID ZUM BRUNNEN

 

When asked in recent years how best to describe himself, David has simply replied, “I'm an impresario . . . . at times, I've been a professional actor & producer; a sometime political hack; I'm a storyteller, and a host of other things. …. I do what I need to do to keep food on the table, and the family warm & dry.”

David's discovery of the power of a story and story telling has held him since childhood, and has led him to pursue such endeavors as acting, producing, organizing, creating, …....

The belief in the power of telling a story has inspired him to appear on stage and in film throughout the United States, and also in Canada.  He fell asleep on stage in his very first role as a resting shepherd in the church kindergarten Christmas play, and he's felt at home on the stage ever since.

On Stage David has appeared in a variety of roles on stage over the years - in the US and Canada.  Under the auspices of EbzB Productions, a production team comprised of Serena Ebhardt and himself, he's toured nationally with several projects and continues to do so.   In the Triangle region (Raleigh/Durham, NC), he appeared in the widely praised Deep Dish Theatre Production of David Hare’s Via Dolorosa at the Stoneleaf Theatre Festival in Asheville, NC, and in Chapel Hill, NC.  Along with productions such as War Bonds, The Wrights of Passage, and others, he has also appeared as Charles Dickens in Elliot Engel’s The Night Before Christmas Carol in countless venues in the United States.  His many regional (U.S. and Canada) theatre credits include such roles as the Nicholas in Nicholas Nickleby, Jesu in Unholy Trinity, Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace, Hotspur and other roles in Henry IV – Parts I & II, and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet.  Among other stage companies in the Triangle region of North Carolina, he has appeared as Henry Carr in the acclaimed Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties (which went on to enthusiastic reviews at Charleston’s Picolo Spoleto).  Over the years, he has also appeared with several companies in addition to Deep Dish Theater & Burning Coal, including PlayMakers Repertory Company, the StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, Temple Theatre, and others.

Under the auspices of EbzB Productions, David's work has been seen on two public television broadcasts of the company's work aired to millions through national and international networks & distribution (Elliot Engel's The Night Before Christmas Carol and War Bonds: The Songs & Letters of WWII).  His portrayals over the years include Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, author, playwright & social justice advocate Paul Green, Henry Carr (in Travesties) Hotspur, Mercutio (in Romeo & Juliet), and countless others on stages in North Carolina, and throughout the U.S, coast to coast, and Canada.

On the screen – small and large You've likely seen David on one screen or another at some point – but more than likely on the broadcast or computer screen. He's done a little bit of film, but most of his screen work has been on television. David's portrayal of Charles Dickens in The Night Before Christmas Carol has now been seen by millions nationally and internationally on public television.   Additionally, public television audiences have seen him nationally and locally both as a performer - with his wife, Serena Ebhardt, in the national broadcast of EbzB’s War Bonds:  The Songs & Letters of WWII - and as a frequent spokesperson with UNC-TV in North Carolina.  He's appeared in various commercials, small films, and other media, but it's the public television broadcasts where his appearances continue to air.

At the desk, on the road, or on the phone David has also managed regional theatres along the way (from small & professional theatres to a regional LORT company), and he's led a statewide non-profit service organization. He's served on several panels & committees over the years for various local, regional, & state arts councils and legislative purposes.

David is also the former Executive Director of the North Carolina Theatre Conference, a leadership and service organization for the state’s theatre organizations and artists.  An arts activist, he served as Board Chair for Arts North Carolina, and served as that organization’s Advocacy Chair for over two years.  He has served as an administrative consultant to a variety of arts organizations in North Carolina and Virginia.  Among other posts he has held in over 20 years of producing theatre and arts administration are as General Manager, PlayMakers Repertory Company with UNC-Chapel Hill, and management posts with a couple of small professional professional theatres in the Philadelphia area.  He was a 2003 Goodmon Fellow as a participant in the Leadership Triangle program and is a recipient of various awards, including: the Middleton Service Award from the NC Theatre Conference for his leadership on behalf of theatre field in the state, and an Indie Arts Award for his work to enhance the cultural life in the Triangle region.  The production company, EbzB Productions, for which he serves as Executive Producer was awarded a North Carolina Theatre Award, The Constance Welsh Theatre for Youth Award, due to the company’s acclaimed work with students and families in Arts In Education in the state.  The company also received three Telly Awards for the national broadcast of The Night Before Christmas Carol on public television.  As a teaching artist trained under the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ (Washington, DC) Artists as Teachers program, he has worked with his wife and other artists to build and bridge communities in guiding them to create locally-based oral histories and to adapt these histories for the stage.  EbzB Productions’ work in this field has been recognized and endorsed by numerous state and local agencies, including the North Carolina Arts Council.

In the community The self described impresario is a producer and actor by day. But David has long been an established, leading arts activist in North Carolina. His efforts have been recognized in many ways – be it awards, honors, or a tip of the hat (from his peers or from publications – such as an Indie Arts Award for his work to enhance the cultural life in the Triangle region). He's been active in the local political scene and has served as a campaign manager and other roles in political campaigns at the state and local levels. 

At home David was raised in Rowan County, NC; still resides in the Triangle region of North Carolina, and is a longtime outdoors enthusiast.  He occasionally participates as an amateur/recreational triathlete in multi-sport events (emphasis on amateur & recreational!), has done some mountain climbing and hiking as well (he summited Mt. Rainier in Washington state several years ago and has reached a couple of other Applachian peaks), and he loves the kayak and the canoe.  He hopes to attempt additional summits in the future elsewhere. He is married to (performer, playwright and director) Serena Ebhardt, and is a proud father to their son.

© ebzb. 2015