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David Connolly is the Associate Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, where he has helmed over thirty productions including the Canadian regional theatre premieres of Kinky Boots, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Mamma Mia!, Disney’s Newsies and High School Musical. David leads Drayton's Youth Training Program and is an adjunct professor to many performing arts colleges. He has collaborated with artists including Katy Perry, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, kd lang, Patti LaBelle, Sarah Brightman and many others. He is also the only amputee to have ever performed on Broadway.

Dance Magazine wrote, “David’s life demonstrates the quintessential balancing act between career and community service.”  He is a recipient of the Premier of Ontario's Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions to the field of applied arts and community service. He was the Director of Pauletta Washington and Diane Louie’s United Nations Development Programme concert, "Chronicle," which toured North America, culminating in a performance at the United Nations General Assembly Hall.


After graduating from Sheridan College, where he earned an Honours Bachelor Degree in Musical Theatre Performance, Connolly was cast in the Broadway revival of Shenandoah. He then became a member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Company where he earned a Tyrone Guthrie Award. 


Connolly began his directing and choreographing career at the famed Stagedoor Manor School of Performing Arts in New York. In 1995, he moved to Los Angeles where he spent seven years as an Associate Producer and Creative Director at Anita Mann Productions. Projects included The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon and three years as an Associate Choreographer for the Miss America Pageant. During his years of involvement, the pageant earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography. 

He choreographed the Deepa Mehta films Bollywood, Hollywood and The Republic of Love and cast, choreographed and co-directed the CBC children's series, The Doodlebops. Other CBC projects include The Moblees series, The Canadian Country Music Awards, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? series and A Season of Song: The Canadian Tenors and Friends. He has collaborated with theatre-makers internationally including Theatre Under the Stars, Persephone, Stage West, Aquarius, Neptune, Mirvish and was the Choreographer of The First Wives Club, directed by Simon Phillips.

He is a proud member of The Directors Guild of Canada, ACTRA, Equity and The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

 

SELECT MUSIC THEATRE​

Director/ Choreographer​​

2020

  • Kinky Boots Canadian regional premiere

2019

  • Newsies (Director) Canadian regional premiere

  • Annie

  • Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Canadian regional premiere

  • Sleeping Beauty: The Panto

2018 

  • Hairspray

  • Jack and The Beanstalk: The Panto

  • Red Rock Diner

2017 

  • Honk!

  • Lucky Stiff

  • Singin' In The Rain

2016

  • Mamma Mia! International regional premiere

  • Cinderella: The Panto

  • Red R0ck Diner

2015 

  • First Wives Club, The Musical, Oriental Theatre Chicago, Toronto and New York Workshops (Choreographer; Simon Phillips, Director)

  • Aladdin: The Panto,

  • Snow White: The Panto

2014

  • Peter Pan: The Panto

  • Legally Blonde (Director)

  • Pirates Of Penzance (Choreographer)

 

2013 

  • SHOUT! The Mod Musical

2012 

  • Why Do Fools Fall In Love? Canadian Premiere

2011 

  • Happy Days, The New Musical Canadian Premiere

  • Dance Legends. (Contributing Choreographer)

2010

  • Disney's High School Musical Canadian Premiere 

 

TELEVISION

  • The Moblees, Season Two, Director (10 Episodes), Choreographer (20 Episodes): Kids CBC, Music Videos, PSAs  and Live Promotional Appearances - Sandbox Films, Seth Goldstein, Producer

  • The Tenors' Lead With Your Heart - Live From Las Vegas: Concert DVD, International Tour and PBS Special, Smith Center, Las Vegas, Performance Director, Choreographer

  • CCMA Home For The Holidays, The Tenors 

  • Canadian Country Music Association Awards CMT/CBC Live, Contributing Producer/ Musical Staging: Dean Brody 

  • Covert Affairs Opening Credits and Eps 318 Showtime Network SeriesChoreographer for Piper Perabo

  • A Season Of Song: Canadian Tenors and Friends with David Foster, Paul Anka, Jackie Evancho and Charise  Musical Staging CBC | SeeMore Productions, Holiday Special + DVD (Gemini Award Best Performance)

  • The Doodlebops' Rockin’ Road Show Animated Series CBC / Cookie Jar; CBS Broadcast 54 x 11min Director, Co-Casting Director - Live Action Kids. Choreographer Conceive & Digital "Story Board" 52 Song concepts

  • How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? CBC / Temple St. / Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber - Performance Director, Choreographer, Live Variety Series x 14 eps

  • The Doodlebops Live Action Series CBC / Cookie Jar; Playhouse Disney, CBS Saturday Mornings: Choreographer, Director, Creative Co-Producer. Plus TV Appearances: Disney’s Christmas Day Parade Special (ABC), The Today Show (NBC). and liaison to Lionsgate, Universal and Mattel *Gemini and Juno Nominated. Disney’s Stars and Motor Cars Parade at MGM Studios, Magical Beginnings “Playhouse Disney In Concert” Series, A Family Affair, Sick Kids Foundation, First Pitch, Kids Day for Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Centre, KTLA Morning, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Staples Centre, LA

  • Sarah Brightman Choreographer/ Casting/ Creative Co-Producer Canadian Launch of "Harem"

  • Much Music World AIDS Day Special: MAC Fashion Cares Choreographer/ Casting/ Creative CoProducer (16 years) Live production numbers created for Katie Perry, kd lang, Jody Watley, Deborah Cox, Gerri Halliwel, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Holiday

  • The Shriners 75th Anniversary Special, Epcot Center, Disneyworld, Choreographer

  • Me and My Shadows: Life With Judy Garland  ABC Mini-series Assistantt Choreographer 

 

FILM

  • Bollywood / Hollywood Choreographer; Director Deepa Mehta 

  • The Republic of Love Choreographer; Director Deepa Mehta

 

SHOWROOM/ THEME PARK

  • Motown Then and Now Waterfall Showplace, Ontario Place

  • Bombay Nights, Knights of Rock & Roll Jean Ann Ryan Productions / P&O

  • Swing, Swing, Swing Harrah's Casino, Laughlin

 

EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE OF PRODUCTION & DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT 

1995-2001 Anita Mann Productions

  • The Jerry Lewis Telethon CBS, Live Variety Special; EMMY nomination 

  • The Miss America Pageant 1996-98 ABC, NBC, Live TV Special; EMMY Award Outstanding Choreography (1997) Bob Fosse Award Nomination– Associate Choreographer

  • Opening Night, Magic To Do, Sounds of America, Soul Town USA, Dick Clark’s Rockin' New Year’s Eve Holland America Cruise Line - Choreographer

  • World Cruise 1999, MS Ryndam: Resident Director/ Choreographer 

  • Fiesta Caliente, It Takes Two Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines: Writer/ Choreographer 

  • Fox Kids World Tour/ Fox Television National Affiliates Trade Show: Director of Development/ Choreographer

  • Barbie's 40th Anniversary Gala Dick Clark Productions at the Waldorf Astoria: Director of Development/ Casting/ Choreographer

 

CORPORATE AND FASHION CLENTS

Producer/ Director/ Choreographer

  • Blake’s Law Firm, Telus, SONY, Wrigley's, Cadillac-Fairview, Subaru, Xerox, Microsoft, Ford-Nissan-Jaguar: The Canadian International Auto Show, The Bank of Montreal, Polar Ice, KPMG, Lowe Roche Advertising, Alliance Atlantis, ARIDO, XM Radio, Movado/Concord, Midori Liquor, The Youth In Philanthropy Initiative, Home Outfitters

  • Halston Heritage Collection with Sarah Jessica Parker; Calvin Klein, The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TIFF) Ultimate Platinum Gala and Jlo Lingerie.

 

ON AIR EXPERT

  • RICH BRIDE POOR BRIDE Reality Series, Five Seasons, Featured Planner, Slice HGTV, Canada; We TV, US; + 85 international syndication *Gemini Award Nomination Best Direction, Step Into The Ring

  • RICH GROOM, POOR GROOM Reality Series, One Season, Featured Planner MEDIA GO-TO Recurring Advisor to Entertainment Tonight Canada, Breakfast Television Contributing Author to “RBPB Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide” Advice Columnist for WeddingBells.com

  • BIG VOICE Performance Expert to Elaine Overholt, Vocal Coach to the Stars.  30-minute series produced by W Network and Lenz Entertainment airing on Oprah Winfrey Network.

 

EDUCATION

  • Honors Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance - Sheridan College Recipient of The Inaugural Greg Bond Memorial Scholarship, The Jerry Foster Memorial Triple Threat Award and the Ben McPeek Award as "Most Outstanding Performance Graduate"

  • Post-Graduate, Ongoing Training: Workshops with Kathleen Marshall, Christopher Gatelli, Joshua Bergasse and Jason Robert Brown.

 

"David is, by anyone's definition, a leader in the field.  What impresses me most is the high standard he has set for himself." -Stephanie Gorin, Casting Director of The Toronto Productions of Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, Kinky Boots, Disney's The Lion King, Beauty and The Beast, Rent, Crazy For You, Hairspray and Miss Saigon.

 

"David has created a career and reputation for himself as one of the most well-rounded and dedicated professionals of today." -Scott Barnes, Board of Trustees of Broadway Cares 

"David is the kind of a person that the entertainment community needs more of." -David Friedman, conductor of the Disney animated features Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and vocal contractor for Mulan.