Bart Sumner

Bart Sumner

Bart Sumner is an actor, screenwriter, and improvisational comedy teacher and performer currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife Leslie, daughter Abby, and two dogs. Originally from Union County New Jersey, he is a graduate of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a BA in Theatre Arts. He spent over 20 years chasing the Hollywood dream in Southern California. He is a proud member of The Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and has performed in films, television, musical theatre and some of the most prestigious comedy clubs in America. He is also a produced screenwriter and television writer. His son, David, died in 2009 from a severe brain injury suffered while playing football. He is the founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit HEALING IMPROV, which provides no-cost Comedy Improv Grief Workshops to people struggling with finding the road forward after loss. Since beginning his work to help others find a path forward through grief, he has spoken and presented nationally on the subject of grief with The Compassionate Friends USA and the Bereaved Parents of the USA. He authored the book HEALING IMPROV: A JOURNEY THROUGH GRIEF TO LAUGHTER, which shares his own grief journey and details how Healing Improv Workshops work while sharing some of the improv exercises used in the workshops. He has been a contributing writer for www.TheGriefToolbox.com and www.HelloGrief.com as well as writing the blog "My Stories From The Grief Journey" at the Healing Improv website. He enjoys pizza and making people laugh.

Articles:

Welcomed Tears

I have met many people since my son David died 8 years ago who have struggled with the death of a loved one. We have all have had different challenges […]

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An Absent Connection: Eight Years After a Child-Loss

This October it will be 8 years since my 10-year-old son David was tripped up during a football practice, and suffered an acute subdural hematoma which took him forever from […]

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grief candles

Family Traditions, Memories, Help Us Reach the New Year

I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with grief before my son, David, died 7 years ago. Since then my grief journey has taught me about myself, my family, […]

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Open to  hope

Father’s Day: A Duel Between Happiness and Sadness

The first Father’s Day I remember was when I was 8 or 9, and my dad and I were on an “Indian Guides” camping weekend with our “Tribe.” “Indian Guides” […]

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Open to  hope

A Lasting Memory of Christmas Past

I had kissed Abby and David “good night” and was started back down the stairs, when I stopped at the top riser and paused before heading downstairs. The scene laid […]

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Open to  hope

Purposeful Tears

I spent two of my weekends this July presenting and speaking at national conferences for grieving parents, grandparents, and siblings. Needless to say, during these weekends I encountered more than […]

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