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David "Papi" Hunt

A Melungeon Indian born in the backwoods country of Eastern Tennessee, David H. Hunt, a.k.a. "Papi," loves to reenact the 18th and 19th centuries while living in the 21st. He travels throughout the western U.S. as a member of the Big Horn Mountain Men, recreating the characters of James Beckwourth (the first Black chief of the Crow nation) and Crispus Attucks (shot to death in the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770), but he's equally at home in outer space. He attends Adult Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama every year, where he completed an intense curriculum in space exploration, aerospace technology, leadership and team building skills, becoming a member of the Space Academy ambassador team.

His performing credits include actor/singer/dancer in the Broadway and Los Angeles productions of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. Technical experience ranges from theatrical arts, to video and sound editing (Final Cut Pro and Pro-tools), to working as camera, audio, staging/props, lighting, floor manager, graphics, assistant director and director for NBC Studios (in Burbank and on location) and for various cable outlets.

Mr. Hunt produced his own talk show entitled All Around Town, for which he oversaw the financing, writing, art design, and talent. He then moved to the business side: marketing, advertising, sales and promotion, representing major corporations at trade shows, conventions, and various business functions. He is passionate about sharing knowledge as an educational tour guide in the U.S. and Shanghai; creating and narrating the Los Angeles Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour for L.A. Sightseeing; and driving Secretary of State John Kerry's entourage during his 2016 visit to Los Angeles.

Inevitably, this enthusiastic storyteller turned to playwrighting. Two of his works, Hooked Special Delivery and Funny How We Look At Each Other, were produced by La Mamma Theatre in Los Angeles. His current project, titled Bloods of Color, presents the little-known story of the Melungeon people's brave journey from oppression to freedom.

David Hunt (Papi) joined the writers' workshop of New Playwrights Foundation in 2014. At the time of his death at the end of February, 2023, he was researching and writing about the history of the Melungeon people in America, and more than anything wanted his children to know and take pride in their heritage. Our Members were pleased to provide creative support for his efforts.

He also served as a member of the NPF Board.

His generosity, enthusiasm, sense of wonder, and passion for learning will be greatly missed.