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 productions, 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.

Below are listed the various theater-making programs that Barbara L. Gregson and Gregson Theater offer.

Theater Arts Workshops (1-3 days & 2-6 hours a day; ages 10 and up)

The Gregson Theater Arts Workshops are tailored to the individual goals of the participants, regardless of level of expertise, in schools, colleges, correctional facilities, senior centers, and community centers, meeting halls, corporations, theaters and other venues across the country. These are designed for students, teachers, professional and beginning performers, artists of all genres as well as business professionals and lawyers. Great for anyone having to make a speech!    «Learn more  (workshops in detail)»


Workshops in detail:

These workshops typically include a combination of two to three theater arts practices listed below. However, we can focus on just one, depending on the length of the workshop, place and needs of the participants.


  • Mime, acting & improvisation
  • Clowning & comedy, commedia dell’arte
  • Creating a theater piece
  • Public speaking & presentation (it doesn't have to be scary!)
  • Storytelling

Writing for the stage

  • Playwriting basics
  • Poetry plays, creating theater with poetry,
  • Using theater in the classroom,
  • New! Theater Artists Play (based the book).


  • Mask making (neutral and character)
  • Mask performance,
  • Creating a plaster life cast


  • Set design
  • Group drawings, wheelchair art
  • Finding work & arts grant writing
  • Creativity Found workshops
  • Visualizations, creating your artist house, etc.

[NEW] Theater Artist Play - Creating a Theater Piece (1-2 day workshop;   3 hours/day)

This workshop based on Barbara's book of the same name. This workshop premiered at the 2018 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Barbara L. Gregson will share with you a few of her favorite and accessible theater techniques from her new book. Topics can include the ancient theater traditions of mime, storytelling and mask performance. You will take away new theater methods to help create, write and play your own original theater work and have the beginnings of an original theater piece of your own creation by the end of the workshop.

Creating a Theater Piece - things to consider

  • What is your big idea?
  • Where is the performance to be held?
  • When?
  • What style of production do you want to create?
  • Who will be involved in the process?

Don’t worry.  If you know most or only some of the answers to these questions, we can work together define the style of theater, the format, venue and other details for your theater piece.

Performance: Each performance workshop includes theater warm- ups games, acting and mime techniques and improvisations .  There can be an emphasis on mime comedy, clowning, slapstick, commedia dell’arte, mask performance, acting, storytelling and/or playwriting, such as writing from improvisation, monologues, dialogues, flash fiction and poetry. Performance workshops always culminate in final improvisational pieces created by the participants.

Mask Making: Make a papier maché, neutral or character mask from a plaster cast of your own face.

Mask Performance: Learn the art of mask performance. Use Gregson Theater masks to create short mime pieces, or use your own.

Life Casts: Make a plaster cast of your face to display and or use as a mold for leather and papier maché mask making.

Creativity Found: These workshops are especially appropriate for Professional Development (see below), for team building, for “people in transition” or for personal development.

NOTE: You can view many pictures of workshops and residencies in our slideshow.


Professional Development Workshops (1-3 days; 6 hours per day)

Barbara tailors professional development workshops for educators and professionals in the private sector.    «Learn more  (details)»


Professional Development Workshops details:

For Professors and Teachers of all subjects and grades, including special education and ESL. How to Create a Theater Piece, Using Theater in the Classroom and with your curriculum or any of the Gregson Theater workshops (details above) that are beneficial to you and your students.

For the Private sector including for corporations, schools, medical institutions, entrepreneurs, business leaders, scientists, sales and marketing professionals, lawyers, teachers, artists, writers - anyone who needs or wants to make a presentation, a “Ted Talk”, a speech or lecture.

ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS: These Gregson Theater workshops are a truly fun and creative experience. They are guaranteed to build teams, camaraderie, creativity, improve analytical thinking and problem solving workshops can include elements of acting, voice, relaxation exercises, performance preparation, storytelling, public speaking, comedy and improvisation. These are also practical exercises that will improve diction, stage presence and confidence.


Individual Coaching, Lessons & Consulting

These individual sessions are tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual or organization and can even include making a plaster cast and/or papier mache mask of you or your child.     «Learn more  (details)»


Individual Coaching, Lessons & Consulting details:

Take a 1-on-1 theater arts private lesson, creativity session, make a plaster cast or bring Barbara in to consult with your organization about funding resources. Below are several examples:

  • Arts Consultancies will help you find artists to build your arts programs or find grants and funding resources for your organization. Barbara can help you learn how to start and fund your own arts project or a Gregson Theater project or residency.
  • Creativity Coaching gives you many exercises and methods to help you create and finish your next project, book or life change. These are especially good for people in transition.  Sessions can be) in person or by phone or video chat, depending on location and individual needs.
  • Individual Theater Arts Lessons in acting, mime, presentation, voice, public speaking, mask making or other theater arts technique to help your professional work or personal development.
  • Make a plaster cast of your face, or your child’s to have for all time! And/or make a papier maché mask from the cast (ages 10 and up).

In addition, there is information on the FUNDING page on how you can fund your own arts project or a Gregson Theater project or residency.


Gregson Theater Residencies (10-20 days; ages 5 and up)

These residencies can include acting, mask making, mime, improvisation, play writing, set design and/or other theater arts techniques, all culminating in a final production. These take place at your school, organization or institution. Includes a final original student community performance.      «Learn more  (details)»


Gregson Theater Residencies details:

For her theater residencies, Barbara shares her unique and creative theater making process with people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, ages and abilities in prisons, nursing homes, community centers, hospitals, schools, colleges and more. PLEASE NOTE: All participants are involved in all aspects of the final production.

Creating a Theater Piece - things to consider

  • What is your big idea?
  • Where is the performance to be held?
  • When?
  • What style of production do you want to create?
  • Who will be involved in the process?

Don’t worry.  If you know most or only some of the answers to these questions, we can work together define the style of theater, the format, venue and other details for your theater piece.

To learn how are these theater residencies are funded, go to the Funding page to find out how to bring Gregson Theater to your school or organization today. Also for a vast array and variety of past residencies and locations see the Gregson Theater press kit, including a resumé.


PLEASE NOTE: For any scheduled residency, the organization can receive free copies of Barbara’s book, Theater Artists Play.

See examples of previous productions and themes below.


Theater Artists Play!   The Book

Barbara offers readings, workshops and live presentations based on her book, Theater Artist Play.     «Learn more  (details)»


Theater Artists Play! The Book details

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 and Book page for more info. All book workshops and presentations include a book signing at the end of the event.
PLEASE NOTE: For any scheduled residency, the organization can receive free copies of Barbara’s book, Theater Artists Play.



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 types.
  • professional storytellers, actors, performers, etc.
  • arts and drama students.
  • retired adults, seniors.
  • people in transitions of all kinds.


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 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  

 Venues for 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


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»


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; see the timeline for some images), 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 (see timeline for some images).

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 (215 850 7443) for a Free Consultation to find out how you or your organization/group can work with Gregson Theater to participate in a workshop or other theater experiences.

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