Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Dedicated June 23rd, 2018
Partners: Empire State Center for the Book, Friends of the John Jermain Library, and the Sherwin-Williams Company
The final home of writer/actor Spalding Gray (1941-2004), in which he resided with his wife Kathleen Russo and their children Marissa, Forrest, and Theo from 2001-2004, was designated a literary landmark. Gray wrote 19 monologues for stage, film, and publication, including "Swimming to Cambodia" and "Morning, Noon and Night" (about his life in Sag Harbor). He is best known for being an American original that sat behind a desk with a glass of water, a notebook, and a microphone to tell the audience a story.
The dedication was a two-part event to benefit the 2018 Performance Space New York Spalding Gray Award Commission, and took place inside the Spalding Gray House. Participants including A.M Homes, John Leguizamo, Jonathan Ames, Jane Comfort, and Jenny Schlenzka were welcomed into the home by Spalding's widow Kathleen and their two sons. The first part of the event was the unveiling of a new plaque designating the Spalding Gray House as a literary landmark. The second was the presentation of the 2018 Spalding Gray Award to an up-and-coming performance artist by Performance Space New York (formerly known as PS 122), where Gray routinely spent months perfecting his monologues prior to premiering them at the Lincoln Center.
Following the award presentation, actress and playwright Eisa Davis read a passage from Gray’s book and monologue “Morning, Noon and Night.” The celebration concluded with writer and storyteller Tara Clancy reading from Gray’s final monologue “Life Interrupted," which details his stay in an Irish hospital after a car accident that nearly ended his life in 2001.
After the reading, Kathleen implored guests to donate to the Spalding Gray commission to support more artists down the road.