Personally and professionally, I consider myself an equal cross of Oscar Wilde, Henry David Thoreau, and the entire cast of The Muppets.
As a writer, I believe our bodies and minds should be our freedoms, not our entrapments. Inspired by my mother’s bipolar disorder and my own queerness, I seek out unconventional forms that drift seamlessly into lands of dream, myth, and vision. I concoct queer epics because our stories are so multifaceted and beautiful, no simple form can contain them. Queerness is inherently about reimagining normative structures and embracing what others have shunned by shame.
To flourish as marginalized communities, we must allow ourselves the courage to form new coming-of-ages previously denied us. True self-love comes from rediscovering our childlike sense of wonder and seizing control of our sexuality and mental health. Inspired by barbaric yawps, clowning, and Surrealist set design, I craft dynamic stories of unapologetic playfulness that invigorate and disrupt the status quo with perspicacious gusto. My work is an empowered reclaiming of ritual, hope, and epic.
Peter Gray has studied Buddhism on a North Carolina goat farm, philosophy in the ruins of Socrates’ jail, and fairy tales in Denmark.
Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Peter is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Theatre Studies Working Group and had a private tutorial with Joe Roach on Surrealist Costume Design. His projects (including plays, musicals, fairy tales, poetry, fiction, and children’s books) have taken him around the world. With performer Joana Knezevic, he has created a bubble gum fantasia of body positivity, I Am Not Your Barbie, which premiered in a glass box in Belgrade/Serbia in May 2022. As ensemble member, he helped devise Zero or More Disposable Lessons, a piece in conversation with the work of Tadeusz Kantor, which premiered at La MaMa, New York/USA, and toured Poland.
With Michael Alvarez, Peter has developed a theatrical exploration of the Medea myth, performed at New York Theater Workshop and The Center at West Park, New York. His play Salem: Post-Mortem was begun in residence at Monson Arts then broadcast virtually with the Muse Collective in October 2020 to raise money for the Audre Lorde Project. His work has been recognized by institutions such as the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Yaddo, Lambda Literary, One Company, and d’arts et de reves, among others. As a MacDowell Fellow, Peter is creating a series of modern day closet dramas designed to be read aloud at home.
He is a current fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude.