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ABOUT

mask

Discover your ancient artist, shaman, storytelling roots with author, director and theater artist, Barbara L. Gregson.

“I believe in making the theater arts accessible to people of all ages and abilities by using ancient storytelling, theater traditions and methods i.e., mime, acting, storytelling, mask making and mask performance, accompanied by live music. For 45 years, I have performed, written about, taught and shared these theater traditions with students and audiences alike."

Imagine, Create, Play!

Barbara L. Gregson performs and directs theater residencies, workshops and presentations of "Theater Artists Play" (see book). She coaches individuals and consults with organizations on their arts funding and programming. She teaches mime, acting, mask performance, mask making, set design, improvisation, play writing, poetry, creativity and public speaking. She works with various organizations, institutions, theaters, colleges, schools and with individuals throughout the country.

Theater Residencies (10-20 days) at your school, organization or institution. Includes a final original student community performance. Go to Works and Funding pages for more info.

Theater Workshops (1 - 3 days) for students, teachers, professional and beginning performers, artists of all genres, business professionals, lawyers. Great for anyone having to make a speech! Go to Works page for more info.

NEW!  - Theater Arts Retreat in the Country (coming August 2019). Go to Works page for more info.

Arts Consultancies! Do you need help finding grants and funding resources for individual artists, teachers and arts organizations, schools or institutions? Go to Funding page for more information. Find out how you can fund your own arts project or a Gregson Theater project or residency.

Private Coaching and Individual Lessons in acting, mime, presentation, voice, public speaking, creativity or other theater techniques to help you. Go to Works page for more info.

Individual Mask and Cast Making: Barbara will make a plaster cast of your face or your child’s, then make a papier mache mask from the cast (ages 10 and up). Go to Works page for more info.

Theater Artists Play” (book) - a guide to creating and making your own theater work. Barbara gives book signings at bookstores, libraries, arts councils, etc.  She also gives book presentations and workshops specifically tailored to the book. Go to Works and Book pages for more info.

PLEASE NOTE: For any scheduled residency, the organization will receive several free copies of Barbara L. Gregson's book, “Theater Artists Play”, for their teachers & staff. In addition, all participating students in both residencies and workshops can purchase the book at a discount price.


 

 

Who does Gregson Theater work with?

Anyone and everyone who wants to explore and discover their creativity, self expression and artistry by exploring the theater making process for a career, in the workplace or for personal development. «Show Details»

Gregson Theater works with:

  • students in elementary through high school, including those in special education programs, such as migrant education and ESL programs.
  • children and adults with physical, mental and developmental disabilities.
  • adults and juvenile correctional facilities.
  • educators.
  • business leaders, professionals.
  • artists of all genres.
  • professional storytellers, actors, performers, etc.
  • arts and drama students.
  • retired adults, seniors.
  • people in transitions of all kinds.
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I love to witness the amazing transformational power of the theater arts process. - Barbara L. Gregson

Important News
Graterford Men's Correctional Facility

Where are the performances?

Everywhere and anywhere we find or can engage an audience of 2 to 1000 plus.

“I started my performance work on the streets of Paris, then toured with Theater WunderWurm playing in every type of outdoor stage and street theater location for 3 years. It was great training and it taught me how to improvise and handle any situation.” «Show Details»

Venues for Gregson Theater performances:

Gregson Theater Performances INDOORS

  • schools and colleges (stages and auditoriums)
  • large capacity community theaters
  • intimate spaces, black box theaters, dance studios, etc.
  • storefronts
  • correctional facilities
  • rehabilitation hospitals
  • concert halls
  • museums and libraries
  • cabarets, pubs, cafes
  • community centers, day care, senior centers
  • retail promotion, trade shows, “live” mannequin, conference sites  

 Gregson Theater Performances OUTDOORS

  • street theater
  • pageants
  • parades
  • “flash mobs”
  • town and city streets and parks
  • theater and storytelling festivals
  • outdoor stages
  • tents
  • bus/train stations and airports
  • public transportation
  • malls and convention centers
  • oh and don’t forget boats
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You come up with the idea and venue and I'll tell you how we can make it happen - Barbara L. Gregson

Important News
“Spirits of the Past “
Actors from the Afton Community Theater
portraying Guilford historical characters (1800-1900s)
Town of Guilford, NY   2015

Barbara L. Gregson biography

mime Hamburg

It all started with Mary Poppins (the movie), and my great grandmother’s clothes, which became our costumes.

At age 10 , I directed my two younger sisters and neighborhood kids in my adaptation of Mary Poppins (the 1964 screen version). When the kids would drop out or be fired by me, (even though I made them sign a contract), I would end up playing their parts. I ended up playing three parts, Burt, the father and a chimney sweep, plus I was probably the narrator as well. We performed for our school and families and another school. I was hooked. All through elementary school I was allowed to continue “dressing up” writing plays, taking drama classes, then apprenticing with theater companies through middle school. Then in high school at The George School, I majored in theater. «Learn more»

Makeup

After graduation from high school, I went to London, England and studied at two different drama schools, Studio 68 and The Drama Studio (1972-1974). Then on to Hamburg, Germany where I worked with an avant garde theater company called “Rost” (“Rust” in English), playing all of the non-verbal roles due to my lack of German. That experience taught me how to express myself without words and thus began my love of mime. Fortunately, in 1976, the Polish mime Ella Jaraoszewicz was touring Hamburg with her company and gave a 7-day mime workshop at a local dance studio. I took her workshop and followed her to Paris, France to study with her.

Upon returning to Germany a year later, I performed my own mime show on the streets of Hamburg. There I met another street performer, the actor Peter Baer and together we formed “Theater WunderWurm,” a three person theater troupe (actor, musician, mime). We toured Europe for three years playing in town squares, cabarets, state theaters and theater festivals and won many theater awards for our work.

I returned to the US in 1980 and moved to Philadelphia, PA with my my first son Till and later my second son Nico. While in Philadelphia, I created “Mimsik” with jazz musician Tony Miceli (1982-1995). We performed and facilitated theater residencies in schools, institutions and correctional facilities. We began working with people of all ages and abilities, teaching them how to make and perform original theater pieces and productions for their communities.

One of my favorite theater experiences in Philadelphia, was my formation of “The Magee Players” 1997-2007, a theater troupe of adults with various physical and mental disabilities. “The Magee Players” were sponsored by Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Philadelphia, and funded in part by grants from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

In 2007, I created The Independence Arts Studio in Philadelphia, a professional arts studio for adults, including those with disabilities. Until 2010, I ran this arts studio with Liberty Resources Inc.

From 2005-2007 I received many awards from the Leeway Foundation, such as the 2007 Transformation Award. The Transformation Award is given to women artists in the Philadelphia area, who “make art to create social change.”

I recently published (April 2018), “Theater Artists Play - A guide to creating and making your own theater work” and give book signings, readings and workshops related to the book wherever I can. The book is for sale on book page of this website and Amazon. At the 2018 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, I premiered my Theater Artists Play! Theater making workshop.

My work as a theater artist, “artist in the community” and “artist in residence” continues to inspire me as I work with diverse groups of people of all ages and abilities in colleges, schools, community centers and correctional facilities, in the small rural villages and towns of upstate NY to Philadelphia and other major US cities.

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See press kit including resumé for more details.

Call Today (607 895 6032) for a Free Consultation regarding how your organization can create an original theater piece or hold a theater arts workshop with Gregson Theater.

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