“Adventure. Compassion. Hatred. Money. Friendship. Marriage. Theatre. Failure. Beauty. Revelation. Cinema. Success. Death. Creation. And re-creation. This is a remarkable story, of a life so deeply lived,” writes Martin Scorsese on the breadth of André Gregory’s new memoir. For the first time in book form, the iconic theatre director, writer, and actor tells his fantastic life story in This is Not My Memoir. Discussing this highly entertaining autobiography-of-sorts at ALOUD, Gregory will be joined by his longtime collaborator Wallace Shawn, the Obie Award-winning playwright and noted stage and screen actor. These two larger-than-life personalities will share memories from the making of their legendary film, My Dinner with André, and reflect on their lives as artists. What does it mean to create art in a world that often places little value on the process of creating it? And what does it mean to confront the process of aging when your greatest work of art may well be your own life? Pull up a chair from your own table for a delicious feast of a conversation with these masters of avant-garde.
André Gregory has been directing theater in New York for more than half a century. His forty-year collaboration with Wallace Shawn began with his critically acclaimed production of Shawn's Our Late Night, and he has collaborated on film versions of his theater productions with Shawn, Louis Malle, and Jonathan Demme. Gregory, Shawn, and Malle created the now-legendary My Dinner with André. As an actor, Gregory has performed in a dozen films, including The Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorsese, and Mosquito Coast by Peter Weir. Gregory is also a writer, a teacher, and a painter—an exhibition of his artwork was staged at Monica King Contemporary in New York City this fall.
Wallace Shawn started writing plays in 1967. His first play to be professionally produced, Our Late Night, was written for André Gregory's company the Manhattan Project. It was directed by Gregory and opened at the Public Theater in 1975. Mr. Shawn's other plays—which include The Fever, The Designated Mourner, and Grasses of a Thousand Colors, among others—have been performed in New York and London. Also with André Gregory, Shawn co-wrote and co-starred in the classic film My Dinner with André, and Mr. Shawn's work as a film actor includes appearances in Manhattan, Radio Days, Clueless, and the Toy Story series. Mr. Shawn's most recent book, Night Thoughts, was just released in paperback.