David Sumner

David Sumner is a stage/production designer formerly based in New York City, now residing in Florida, focused on theatre, corporate events, exhibits, broadcast and interior architecture. His resume spans more than thirty-five years, with projects from around the globe.

Mr. Sumner has designed numerous projects for regional theatre, opera, ballet and Broadway; highlights include: the world premiere of a three act ballet “Shim Chung” – selected to represent Korea as part of the 1988 Olympics, the world premiere of Michael Cristofer’s award winning play “Amazing Grace starring Marsha Mason” and the American Premiere  of the Willy Russell’s hit musical “Blood Brothers”. Sumner designed the popular musical, “Funny Girl, produced by Joop Van Den Ende Productions in the Netherlands, directed by Chet Walker; and back in the US, designed a national tour of  “The Music Man”. In southern Europe, Sumner designed “Les Femmes” and “City Lights”, both “Vegas styled” spectaculars at Monte Carlo’s famed Sporting Club.  In the late 90’s, Mr. Sumner, was invited to accompany director/former Spanish ambassador, Tomas-Rodriguez-Pantoja, to Spain, to meet the gypsies of Andalucia, and to experience first hand their music, dance, and culture. That extended, sun drenched, journey culminated with the Broadway show “Gypsy Passion”.

On the corporate side, Mr. Sumner’s has designed numerous corporate meetings, exhibits, festivals, product launches, broadcasts, parties, and special events for an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients including: Actelion, Acura, Apple, Audi, Bristol Meyers-Squibb,  Canon, ESPN, Estee-Lauder, Ford, Gillette, GM, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, IBM, Intel, Liz-Claiborne, Lucent Technologies, MCI, Met Life, Novartis, NFL, McNeil, Pepsi, Peugot, Philip Morris USA, Sanofi-Aventis,  T-Mobile,, Sheraton North America, Sharp Electronics, SONY, and Xerox.

Mr. Sumner was co-production designer for Bob Geldof’s global world hunger simulcast: “Our Common Future” broadcast from live from Lincoln Center. A few years later, Lincoln Center asked that he design their popular summer dance festival “Midsummer Night’s Swing”. Mr. Sumner is familiar with the Olympics. He has designed numerous Olympic related projects beginning with nightclub installations for the 1980 Olympic Village in Lake Placid NY, to the most recent- an interior design project – The IOC Pavilion in Beijing, China.

At prestigious Rhode Island School of Design’s Division of Architecture  and Design, Mr. Sumner was brought on board in the late 90‘s and assigned the task of breaking down the walls of traditional architecture while imparting 21st century computer based design and communication  skills. The intensive class he devised, co-taught with architectural lighting designer, Dennis Cohen, paired outward-bound  team building training and cutting-edge computer based skills with heart pounding nightclub design. Notable industry professionals, from around the globe, representing a wide range of design related professions, were brought in to judge the work.

In 2012, Mr. Sumner was invited to the Northeast Educational Theatre Festival, in Portland, ME as keynote speaker. To the assembled students he spoke about dreams, the miracle of their lives, how they mattered, and the vision required to reach a dream.  Afterwards, in a related workshop, teary-eyed students, en masse, approached him to say: “We never hear this….you’ve changed our life.”  Later that same evening, their teacher added, “I don’t know what you said to my students, but you set them on fire.”

Member: United Scenic Artists, Local 829 (Scenic Designer/ Computer Artist)