During the 1960s and 1970s, Gregory directed a number of avant-garde productions developed through ensemble collaboration, the most famous of which was Alice (1970), based on Alice in Wonderland. In 1975 he directed Our Late Night, the first produced play by Wallace Shawn, which established a long working relationship between the two. Shortly afterward, Gregory's growing misgivings about the role of theatre in modern life, and what he felt was a trend toward fascism in the United States, led him to abandon theatre abruptly and soon to leave the country. As described in My Dinner with Andre, he traveled to Poland on an invitation from Jerzy Grotowski, developed a number of experimental theatrical events for private audiences, and then spent several years in a variety of esoteric spiritual communities, developing an interest in what could be described as New Age beliefs.
Since his retirement, Gregory has returned several times to direct small productions, usually for invited audiences. These included a long-running workshop of Uncle Vanya (adapted by David Mamet) which was developed from 1990 to 1994 and never publicly performed, featuring Wallace Shawn and Julianne Moore, and a production of Shawn's play The Designated Mourner, which Gregory also directed for radio in 2002.
He has had occasional film roles as a character actor, including John the Baptist in The Last Temptation of Christ and Reverend Spellgood in The Mosquito Coast. But his best-known film appearance was as the title character in My Dinner with Andre, directed by Louis Malle, in which he and Wallace Shawn, playing characters based on themselves, discussed Gregory's spiritual sojourn in Europe and his doubts about the future of theatre and of Western civilization in general. Gregory also appeared as himself in Malle's film Vanya on 42nd Street, which documented his Uncle Vanya production.
Andre Gregory Facts
|Birthday||May 11, 1934 (87)|
|Birthplace||New York, New York, USA|