Gretchen Gray - Co-Director
Gretchen was raised on the Rhode Island shore. She graduated summa cum laude, first in the College of Liberal Arts of the University of Rhode Island. She went on to graduate school at Stanford University on scholarship, majoring in theatre arts, specializing in acting.
She started her acting career playing “Olivia” in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, co-starring with Dennis Hopper.
Returning East, she acted in several off-Broadway plays in New York City, including T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral. She met and married Paul in New York and they began their director/actor relationship. Many of Paul’s theories of applying imagery to actor objectives were explored and defined in the plays they did together. Gretchen is known for the range and timbre of her voice, her total absorption in the roles she plays and her charismatic presence on stage or before a camera.
Among her many performances in Paul’s Ensemble Theatre were the lead roles in: The Merchant of Venice (Portia), Ginny Jenny in The Three-Penny Opera, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, the Queen of Hearts in Eva LeGallienne’s version of Alice in Wonderland, Madam Rosepettle in Oh Dad, Poor Dad . . . and her greatly acclaimed interpretation of the lovely but sinister and vengeful Clara in Duerrenmatt’s The Visit.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of their director/actor collaboration was her sensitive and finely wrought interpretation of Winnie, in Samuel Beckett’s tragicomedy, Happy Days. As aired in an NPR review, “her electrifying performance left a lasting impression on the audience.”
Helping to build the Ensemble Theatre, Gretchen collaborated with Paul and with Frank Baker in training the actors in the new acting method that Paul had created – a method that incorporated visual and audio imagery into role preparation. She taught acting at Bennington College.
Their director/actress relationship continued when they turned to the film medium. She played the lead roles in Paul’s independent films: Aphasia, The Voyage of Zahara, Everyman, Hoosick Follies, Starfish and most recently, The Ballad of Dorothy Dunn.
Her intensive artistic collaboration with Paul soon spread to other areas of filmmaking. Innate talents, percolating beneath the surface, soon found avenues of expression as she joined him in the filmmaking process.
Author: P.I.N.S and The Ballad of Dorothy Dunn (both produced), Clipper Shades, and In Search of Eleanora Duse* (in development).
*Nota bene: While the great Duse has no equal in performance, Gretchen, who possesses some of the same magical powers of the famed Italian actress, will attempt to emulate Duse in scenes depicting her final American tour when she was a very courageous older woman. Eleanora Duse died in Pittsburgh in 1924 soon after collapsing backstage where she had played Ibsen’s Lady from the Sea. Duse will be brought to the attention of today’s audiences as one of the greatest, if not the greatest actor of all time.
Sound Designer: Gretchen possesses a unique gift for relating sound images to visual images, as exemplified by her work on P.I.N.S, Aphasia, The Voyage of Zahara, Everyman, Starfish, and The Ballad of Dorothy Dunn.
Chief Administrator: The Gray Film Atelier Studio in New York State and Paul Gray’s Hollywood based International Film Directing Seminars
Co-Producer: Starfish and The Ballad of Dorothy Dunn
Co-Director with Paul of Atelier Pictures