New England native Spalding Gray was raised in Rhode Island and schooled in Massachusetts. As a writer and actor inclined to serious spells of depression, he humorously integrated his anxieties and experiences into stage performances. He was often seated at a desk with only a microphone, notebook, and a glass of water. Within this minimalist aesthetic, Gray’s monologues were simultaneously funny, touching, and scary. His wholly authentic style was influenced by Allen Ginsberg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and the American autobiographical movement. After studying at Emerson College, Gray attended a workshop at the Open Theater in 1969. Though he appeared in a string of sleazy, forgettable films during the ’70s, he mostly worked in experimental theater. In 1977, he co-founded the Wooster Theater Group in New York City. Two years later, he performed his first monologue: Sex and Death at the Age of 14.
Gray traveled to Thailand to play a bit part in Roland Joffé’s war drama The Killing… read more