Lorrie and Rob Gray have been active in theatre for more than 30 years. Rob’s first on-stage production credit was that of Fancourt Babberly in “Charlie’s Aunt”, in 1983, at Keene State College. Lorrie started even sooner in several high school productions. She went to Western Illinois University where she earned a Bachelors Degree in recreation and parks administration with a minor in music.
Rob and Lorrie have extensive work histories in summer youth camps and the two met in 1984 while working at a Lutheran summer camp. They were married in 1988. Once they settled in the Monadnock area their theatre resumes grew quickly. They were very active in several community and semiprofessional theatre groups both on stage and behind the scenes. Rob began directing plays in 1991.
He has 9 directing credits and has acted in more than 20 stage productions. Lorrie has been featured in numerous roles in a variety of productions in the region. One of their highlights working together came when they co-directed a children’s play as part of Keene’s First Night ‘95. “Eyefellgloffenhootenanniemerryberrycrunch” involved 12 children and was a big hit to the sold-out audiences and a great learning experience for the kids involved! After this undertaking Lorrie and Rob knew that they wanted to advance their skills working with children in a theatre environment.
They went on to become Actor/Directors for Missoula Children’s Theatre, for two years, from Sept. ’95 through May ‘97. They toured to 63 towns and cities in the USA and Canada. MCT was a great company to work for but they missed their home in New Hampshire. They wished to continue the fulfilling experience of working in children’s theatre and established Children’s Stage Adventures, Inc. to provide another high quality children’s theatre program at a more affordable rate to venues in the eastern states.
Rob returned to Keene State College to complete a bachelor’s degree in theatre. He earned 49 credits in a little over a year, maintaining a 4.0 GPA while working several jobs. At the same time Lorrie wrote CSA’s first play, The Sword Called Excalibur and secured royalty rights to use wonderful children’s songs by Grammy award winning musician and performer Tom Chapin. CSA’s second show is the musical-comedy The Fisherman and His Wife, book and music by Don Kukla.
During the summer of 2001 Rob and Lorrie wrote CSA’s third play, Androcles and The Lion. In September 2002, they completed a new adaptation of Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist. 2003 saw CSA’s 5th production, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Dream, premiere to rave reviews. In 2006 CSA commissioned Don Kukla to write a new musical adaptation of The Princess and the Pea. In Summer 2007, Lorrie completed The Emperor’s New Clothes. All productions have professionally designed costumes and original sets constructed by the multitalented Grays.
CSA has enjoyed more than 700 wonderfully successful residencies during the past sixteen years. Each group was unique and the productions were well received by classmates, teachers, parents and relatives of the young casts. Plans for continued growth include increasing bookings – up to 100 weeks in the upcoming school year – and the addition of an eighth production to the repertoire!