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'Twas the Night...'

American Dream Theatre presents
a new twist on a holiday classic

Gregory heads up production
at Oldham Arts Center

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (December 2008) – Greylyn Gregory has had a passion for theatre since high school. It has prompted her to write and direct many plays geared for children, her second passion in life.

Greylyn Gregory

Photo provided

Greylyn Gregory is credited with beginning
the first professional theatre
company in Oldham County.

“A Holiday Celebration!” will be presented by the Oldham County Schools Arts Center and American Dream Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Featured will be a performance of American Dream Theatre’s original musical, "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Regional vocal artists will perform traditional holiday music and the Arts Center’s musical theatre students will showcase their talents.
Gregory has been teaching classes at the Arts Center for the past six years. She is the resident Theatre Director for the Arts Center’s Musical Theatre Workshops and Musical Theatre Summer Camps. She has had a long, varied career as a producer, director, actor, playwright and teacher.
Gregory, 49, is responsible for beginning the first professional theatre company in Oldham County, American Dream Theatre. She has been the Producing Director since 2005 when the company’s first production, “Littlest Angel,” was performed for students and the public.
With more than 25 years of experience, Gregory has honed her skills to write more than 25 children’s musicals, relying on original concepts and adaptations of fairy tales and classics. Professional theatres around the country have produced her children’s plays, including venues in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa and Oregon.
Local credits include the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Contemporary Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Derby Dinner Playhouse will produce four of her plays in their 2007-2009 season.
“About five or six years ago, I was working for Derby Dinner and wanted to write a new holiday show,” said Gregory. Her inspiration came as she thought about the poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
“I wondered what would happen if Santa showed up, got conked on the head, had amnesia and thought he was five,” she said. Drawing upon the experiences of her own children, she decided to use a brother and sister as the main characters. The boy, played by Prospect resident Conner Lohman, has doubts of Santa’s existence while his sister is the voice of faith and optimism.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas “is nothing like the Clement Clark Moore story,” said Donna Garrett, Resource Coordinator for the Arts Center. But the original poem “was really the catalyst for all of the other ideas,” said Gregory, who has been an Oldham County resident for the past 13 years.
It is a story about faith, hope and love. “My first production of this show at Derby Dinner was very successful,” she said. Gregory’s own eleven-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, plays the role of the sister.
This is the first time Gregory will be producing a three show season. The American Dream Theatre’s lineup kicked off in October with Charlotte’s Web, will perform ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in December, and end with Jack and the Beanstalk in March 2009.
“We are trying to appeal to the large population of schools and families in Oldham County with fun filled shows that also have a message, and simultaneously, provide young people with the opportunity to develop their own skills and be in shows themselves,” said Gregory.
Tickets for "A Holiday Celebration!" can be purchased for $8 at the door or in advance by calling the Oldham County Schools Arts Center at (502) 241-6018. The South Oldham Rotary will be selling baked goods, cider and coffee, with proceeds benefiting a Student Scholarship Fund.
A matinee performance of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" will be performed at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Arts Center. Ticket price is $8.

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