Allison Gregory

Allison Gregory | Biography

Allison GregoryAllison’s spirit of invention takes many forms. Her plays range from historical satires centering on under-represented women which ask us to reconsider how we got where we are, to muscular contemporary interpretations of mythology and fairytales, to intimate dramas and rowdy, irreverent children’s theatre. Her work includes Not Medea and Wild Horses, which were O’Neill Finalists and received multiple Rolling World Premieres through NNPN; Motherland, a reimagining of Brecht’s Mother Courage for a diverse world, and Trent’s Last Case, a fresh adaptation of a popular 1913 detective novel. Allison’s plays have been produced nationally and internationally by a fusion of professional theatres, academic stages, and non-traditional spaces. She has received support and commissions/grants/development from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Kennedy Center, South Coast Repertory, The New Harmony Project, Hedgebrook, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Playwright’s Center, the Skirball-Kenis Foundation, GEVA, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theater, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, The National New Play Network, Northwest Playwright’s Alliance, Wordsmiths/LATC, and Banff Playwright’s Conference. Her plays for young audiences include Go Dog. Go!, adapted from the P.D. Eastman book and co-written with Steven Dietz; Peter and the Wolf, which toured nationally; a revved-up Red Riding Hood; Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, adapted from the Astrid Lindgren novel and which premiered in Poland; Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!; Junie B. is Not A Crook; and Junie B., Toothless Wonder -- all adapted from the beloved book series by Barbara Park, and which have been seen at hundreds of theaters across the country. Allison has been recognized by TYA USA as “One of the 10 Most Produced TYA Playwrights”.

Her plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Playscripts, Smith & Krauss, and Rain City Press. 

Artistic Purpose

As a playwright one goal of mine is to create challenging roles and inspiring opportunities for actresses to strut their stuff. We know gender parity is a thing, and never is it more glaring to me than when skilled artists miss their moment, simply because there’s so little being offered for them to do. I believe my purpose is to generate stories and experiences that will live deeply in audiences and artists; I strive for and embrace that responsibility in all of my work. It’s fun to write demanding roles for actors. It’s thrilling to conjure and shape a story. It’s work but it’s joy, too; it’s craft, yes, and it’s mystery. I find writing a play trying (such a good word); it demands much more of me than I’m comfortable giving. As avid and eager as I am to become a skillful writer, the truth is I become a better person the more I write. So my artistic statement is a humane statement: I write plays to better understand humanity, and to just be better.

I write plays about outsiders. I write plays about families. I write about dogs, and horses, and a wolf. I write about war and myth and magic. I write about things I don’t know. Because my life as a mother and a wife and a writer is so circumscribed, the best way I know to expand is to challenge myself to write my way out of familiarity and habit. I people my plays with strong, susceptible, often under-represented voices in urgent worlds. And I believe deeply in comedy.

© 2014 Allison Gregory. All rights reserved.
Featured background photo by Stephanie Busing.
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