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Theater’s first lady

Gregory starts first theatre
company in Oldham County

American Dream Theatre presents
new twist on old classic

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (January 2009) – Greylyn Gregory has combined two of her passions, children and theatre, to produce winning productions that can be enjoyed by all ages. She is credited with beginning the first professional theatre company in Oldham County.

Greylyn Grgory

Photo provided

With more than 25 years experience,
Greylyn Gregory has written more
than 25 children’s productions.

The American Dream Theatre has been in existence since its debut at the Oldham County Schools Art Center in 2005 with “Littlest Angel.” Gregory’s list of accomplishments has grown even longer since then, lengthening her resume, which was already full of job descriptions, such as actor, producer, director, playwright and teacher.
Gregory, 50, is the resident Theatre Director for the Oldham County Schools Arts Center’s Musical Theatre Workshops and Musical Theatre Summer Camps. She has been teaching classes at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center for the past six years.
“Her theatre productions are especially appropriate for our school system,” said Art Center Executive Director Alvin MacWilliams. “Her messages are so timely; they are about hope, love, respect and a number of things that teach valuable lessons to children.”
An Oldham County resident for the past 13 years, Gregory has also taught classes at Kentucky Country Day, the Jewish Community Center and for Metro Parks. She has been producing shows with American Dream Theatre for the past four years.
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.
Locally, her plays have been performed at 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.
Gregory has produced a three show season for the Arts Center. The American Dream Theatre’s lineup kicked off in October 2008 with “Charlotte’s Web,” performed “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” in December, and will wrap up with “Jack and the Beanstalk” in March 2009.
“All three of the shows are either original or my adaptations,” said Gregory, originally from Louisville. “I chose them according to what I think works well in a given season.” She said “Charlotte’s Web” was a great fall show, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” a perfect holiday-themed show, and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk” a fun and upbeat production for spring.
“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.
“Her original productions are one element that makes her widely popular,” said MacWilliams. “She puts twists on standardized fairy tales,” giving students a concept they may not have been exposed to, he said.
MacWilliams, who has only served as executive director of the Arts Center for the past year, said that her production of “Big Ralph the Bully Elf” was performed during his second week on the job. “I was so impressed with her that I wanted to hire her to do musical theatre classes,” he said.
Her talent for relating to young students is just what we need here, said MacWilliams. “We have a unique way that we approach our theatre classes. It’s about the process, not just the end product.”
The Arts Centers’ approach includes developing such skills as vocals and acting, in the hope that these experiences may stick with the children into adulthood or that they may even specialize in these talents one day.
Gregory said that she and MacWilliams are “definitely on the same page with our vision.” The Arts Center has the dual mission of offering educational classes in the arts for students and the community.
“I am always looking for new actors and welcome interest in American Dream Theatre,” said Gregory.

• For more information on Greylyn Gregory or the American Dream Theatre, visit www.AmericanDreamTheatre.com.

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