Learn more about the exquisite Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray (1941-2004) was an actor and a writer, best known for his monologues, wherein he told humorous, poignant, personal stories based on his life, mostly while sitting at a table, sipping from a glass of water, talking into a microphone. He described his writing as “poetic journalism,” in that he did relate what had happened, but with a bit of editing or embellishment – as seemed fit.
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Spalding achieved fame with his monologue SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA, made into a film by Jonathan Demme in 1987. The success of that film boosted his career, leading to more film acting roles, which also took him away from his work with The Wooster Group, an experimental theatre company in New York. But he kept doing his monologues, MONSTER IN A BOX, GRAY’S ANATOMY, IT’S A SLIPPERY SLOPE, MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT, and others — many of which have been published, the last being LIFE INTERRUPTED.
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In 2001, on a trip to Ireland, the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a truck, and Spalding suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, which caused brain damage, and depression. While undergoing treatment, he kept working on new material, performing bits of it in-progress. Along the way, he found he couldn’t perform like he used to. His depression led to thoughts of suicide, including attempts. One night in January 2004, he succeeded, jumping off the Staten Island Ferry into the East River. His body was found two months later.
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A few years after Spalding died, his widow, Kathleen Russo, and theatre director Lucy Sexton, assembled a script made of excerpts from his monologues, his journals, and letters. The texts were organized into five topics that were important to Spalding: Love, Family, Adventure, Journals, and Career, performed in our production by Isabelle Kralj, John Kishline, Mark Anderson, Deborah Clifton, and Jill Anna Ponasik.
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Gigante’s production of SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL takes place November 15-18, 2018 at Kenilworth 508 Theatre (1925 E Kenilworth Place).  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2:00.
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On Friday and Sunday, there will be a post-show talkback about the production, but also about mental health, brain injury and suicide, with local psychologists. We want to acknowledge this difficult part of the story, but also celebrate the bright parts of Spalding’s life.
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Tickets now on sale
gigantespalding.brownpapertickets.com
800-838-3006

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