Donnetta L. Grays
Advisory Board Member
Actor, Playwright, Director
For more on Donnetta: www.DonnettaGrays.com
"Grays is one of those actors who can enthrall while doing nothing more than standing still, listening, in character. What a treat to get to watch her do so." - OffOffOnline
Donnetta will act for food. Or write a play or direct one for that matter so long as food is involved...or, ya know, whiskey.
She considers herself a theater practitioner who deeply enjoys the art of storytelling in whichever form it presents itself. As an actor she has had the Broadway experience a couple of times as a company member of Sarah Ruhl's IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY and Lisa Kron's WELL. Notable NY Theater credits includes 16 WORDS OR LESS at Clubbed Thumb, BE THE DEATH OF ME and IN THE FOOTPRINT with The Civilians, THE Wii PLAYS at Ars Nova and SHIPWRECKED! AN ENTERTAINMENT at Primary Stages. She has participated in workshops and readings at New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, Lincoln Center in association with Steppenwolf, New York Stage and Film, The McCarter Theatre Center, Hartford Stage, Outside the Wire, The New Ohio, Portland Stage Company and Vineyard Arts Project. Regionally she has enjoyed runs at Westport Country Playhouse, Arena Stage, Hartford Theaterworks, Portland Stage Company, Baltimore Centerstage, Huntington Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and LA Women's Shakespeare Co. She is a 2-time Connecticut Critic's Circle Award Winner and is a Helen Hayes and Broadway World Award Nominee. As a founding member of Coyote REP Theatre Company she appeared in productions of the cowboy is dying, DECEPTION and PATRIOT ACT (AN OCCURRENCE AT YANKEE STADIUM). Film and TV credits include WILD CANARIES, THE ENGLISH TEACHER (with Jullianne Moore), THE WRESTLER (with Mickey Rourke and Evan Rachel Wood), SHOOK, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?, recurring roles on AMC's RUBICON, NBC's MERCY and L&O: SVU (4 seasons as Officer Ramirez) and guest starring roles on CRIME (HBO Miniseries) BLUE BLOODS,THE BLACKLIST, A GIFTED MAN, LAW AND ORDER, L&O:CI and THE SOPRANOS.
As a playwright Donnetta seeks to write strong roles for women of various ages, races, sexual identities and economic standings. She believes the most radical theater happens when cultural specificity meets common human conflict. She also believes that humor should marry heartbreak at most turns in a narrative. And with that in mind she has written THE NEW NORMAL (Inspired by the life of 2009 Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Survivor of the Year Anna Warren Schumacher) and 'the cowboy is dying' which were both produced by Coyote REP, two ten-minute plays: THE MORE THINGS CHANGE (Written at the request of terraNova Collective) and TO BE... (written at the request of Theatre 4 the People). She's still seeking homes for the following plays: THE REVIEW OR HOW TO EAT YOUR OPPOSITION (2013 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center NPC Finalist), ABSENCE OF FAITH and SAM (2015 Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest Winner. 2014 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center NPC Semifinalist.) There's also a short story entitled PEACHES WITH KING sitting on her computer and some poetry is featured on shortpoem.org. Her play SAM was developed as part of Naked Angels' three part development series, was presented as part of Classical Theater of Harlem's Furture Classics Reading Series and workshopped through Portland Stage Company's Little Festival of the Unexcepted. Her play THE B FACTOR was an official selection of the 2002 Women of Color Arts and Film Festival and received a reading with TOSOS Theater Company as part of their Robert Chesley / Jane Chambers Playwrights Project. She is the recipient of The New York Innovative Theatre Foundation's 2012 inaugural Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. She is a 2013 terraNova Collective Groundbreakers Playwrights Group alum and was named a Semi-finalist for The 2012-2014 Women's Project Playwright's Lab and the Lark Playwright Development Center's 2013 Playwright's Week. She has also presented her written work with Slant Theatre Company at Ars Nova, Pride Goes East, Spirit of Pride at St. John the Divine and Drunken Careening Writers at KGB Bar.
Directing credits include staging Meghan Cary's ON THE WAY TO THE WATERFALL for Emergining Artists Theater's 2013 One Woman Standing: New Works Series, chandra thomas's STANDING AT... for the 2012 Downtown Urban Theater Festival, Ms. thomas's FORGIVE TO FORGET for Passage Theater Company's 2011 Solo Flights Festival and Heidi Tokheim's STELLA BY STARLIGHT (Coyote REP). She's directed readings of Renee Flemings' STRANGE WEATHER
(New Professional Theater), SECOND HAND SMOKE (Black Coffee Productions) and Andrea Caban's QUESTIONS MY MOTHER CAN'T ANSWER (Coyote REP).
She is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and The Dramatists Guild of America. She is a member of The Actors Center Workshop Company, Coyote REP and TOSOS Theater Companies. She is a Civilians Associate Artist and a frequent cast member of many Outside the Wire projects. BA: College of Charleston. MFA: University of California, Irvine.