David Harrell is an actor, writer, speaker and disability advocate. He was recently honored by the Casting Society of America as one of the Top 20 Actors from underrepresented populations. Television credits include, “The Gilded Age”, “FBI: Most Wanted”, “The Code”, “Bull”, and “Law & Order:SVU”. On stage, he has performed Off-Broadway in the New York revival of The Artificial Jungle by Charles Ludlum and in the New York Times Critic’s pick The Healing by Samuel D. Hunter. In the 2015 he was selected for the prestigious ABC/Disney Discovers New York Talent Showcase. David produced and starred in the short film The Siblings Liebencrantz; winning “Best Filmmaker” in the 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. His short film Lefty & Loosey won “Best Film” in the 2016 Disability Film Challenge and “Best International Actor” in the 2016 Focus on Ability Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.
His award-winning solo plays A Little Potato and Hard to Peel and The Boy Who Would Be Captain Hook continue to entertain audiences all over the United States and internationally. He received the “Distinguished Service” award from the New Jersey Governor’s Awards for Arts in Education in 2019. He was nominated in 2010 for a New York Innovative Theatre award for “Outstanding Solo Performance” and won the 2014 “Journalist Choice Award” for his work in the Monomaffia Festival in Parnu, Estonia.
David has been a roster artist and presented school assembly programs for over seven years with Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. He is also a roster artist for Young Audiences Maryland, Arts for Learning Connecticut, Nassau County BOCES, Suffolk County BOCES and Arts Enrichment Network in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds a BFA from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in theatre performance.
His keynote presentation, Navigating a Two-handed World…Single Handedly, takes aspects of his successful solo shows to “carry each and every audience member into a world of hope; a world full of the complexities of the human condition.” His clients have included; Best Buddies International, DePaul University, The Binghamton University Forum, The US Department of the Interior, G-CASE (Georgia Council of Administrators of Special Education), College of Coastal Georgia, Savannah and Chatham County Schools, Coffee County (GA) Board of Education, Floyd County (GA) Board of Education, GA Dept. of Education Parent Mentor Conference, GEAR Summer Institute, Ohio Association of School Nurses and St. Joseph’s College.
As a Disability Advocate, he has worked as the Accessibility and Outreach Director for the Raleigh Ensemble Players (REP) in Raleigh, NC. He helped REP increase their inclusion and accessibility of artists and patrons with disabilities. He served as Disability and Programming Associate for Inclusion in the Arts in New York City for over nine years. During that time, he helped maintain a database of performers with disabilities from across the country and consulted with numerous productions throughout the entertainment industry to improve the authentic representation of disability in Arts and Media.