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UWM Kenilworth 508 Theater
Milwaukee, WI
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Theatre Gigante presents

words by Spalding Gray
concept by Kathleen Russo & Lucy Sexton

November 15-18, 2018

Kenilworth 508 Theatre
1925 E Kenilworth Place
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Back by popular demand, Theatre Gigante celebrates Spalding Gray.

"Real life has always let me down. Thats why I do the monologues. I have always said I would rather tell a life than live a life. But I have to live a life in order to tell one."
                                         ---Spalding Gray

Theatre Gigante opens its 31st Season with the telling of the life of Spalding Gray, in his own words.  SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL is a delightful, moving tribute to the life and work of this acclaimed and groundbreaking writer/monologist/actor.

Consisting of material from Grays journals, monologues and letters, this revealing homage, put together by his widow Kathleen Russo and director Lucy Sexton, is divided into five voices: Journals, Adventure, Love, Family, and Career  in the words of Russo, the five things most important to Spalding.

In this production, Journals will be played by Deborah Clifton, Adventure by MARK ANDERSON, Love by ISABELLE KRALJ, Family by JOHN KISHLINE and Career by JILL ANNA PONASIK.

SPALDING GRAY:  STORIES LEFT TO TELL premiered Off Broadway in New York City to critical acclaim, in the year 2007.  When it closed later that year, Theatre Gigante received the rights to perform it.  It is with great pleasure that Gigante Artistic Directors Kralj & Anderson  directors of this production  open Gigantes 31st Season with this exquisite found poetry, reshaped into a poignant and heart warming new theatrical piece.

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.

Spalding achieved some 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, GRAYS ANATOMY, ITS A SLIPPERY SLOPE, MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT, and others.

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 couldnt 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.

Theatre Gigante is producing this show for the third time because we want to keep Spalding Grays work alive.  Spalding was significant in his time, and today he remains the foremost American monologist of our time.  He was able to make art from the stuff of his life  good stuff and bad stuff. Spalding was unafraid to reveal his vulnerabilities and failings in front of an audience, and in so doing, he caused them to reflect on their own, similar, feelings and experiences, and maybe laugh a littlein fact, a lot.  We want the same for our audience.

November 15th - 18th, 2018

November 15th 7:30pm w/post-show reception
November 16th 7:30pm w/post-show talkback*
November 17th 7:30pm
November 18th 2:00pm w/post-show talkback*

*Post-show talkbacks will include a discussion with the cast and Drs. Mary Alice and Bill Houghton, focusing on the possible effects of brain trauma and depression, a key reason that led to Spalding Gray's untimely and tragic death.


UWM Kenilworth 508 Theater (View)
1925 East Kenilworth Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211
United States


Arts > Literary
Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre

Minimum Age: 16
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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