Gretchen Cryer

Gretchen Cryer

Gretchen Cryer (born October 17 1935) [] is an American writer, actress, and lyricist.

Cryer was born Gretchen Kiger [ [ Gretchen Cryer Biography (1935-) ] ] in Dunreith, Indiana. She attended DePauw University as an English major. In one of her music classes, she met Nancy Ford, and the two forged a friendship that eventually lead to a number of professional collaborations as the only female composer-lyricist team in New York theater. Their first work, "For Reasons of Loyalty", produced by Boston University, was written while the two were graduate students at Yale University.

Their first professional New York production was "Now Is the Time For All Good Men" (1967), a highly political piece about Cryer's pacifist brother that was panned by the critics. Undaunted, they mounted "The Last Sweet Days of Isaac" - with Austin Pendleton and Alice Playten - in 1970, winning not only rave reviews, but the Obie, Drama Desk, and Outer Circle Awards as well. From there they moved to Broadway, but "Shelter" (1973) - despite a few good reviews - was not a success.

Cryer and Ford's most notable success was "I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road" (1978), based on Cryer's life experiences; she not only co-wrote the piece, but performed in it as well. Despite being lambasted by the critics, the show began to find an audience via word-of-mouth, and producer Joseph Papp moved it from his Public Theater in lower Manhattan uptown to the Circle on the Square theater, where it ran for three years.

Cryer's additional work as a performer included roles in "Little Me" (1962), "1776" (1969).

Cryer divorced her husband, actor David Cryer, in 1968. She has two daughters - Robin, who has appeared with her in cabaret shows, and Shelley, who is a theatrical make-up artist - and a son, film and television actor, Jon Cryer, of Two and a Half Men".

She is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford's latest musical, Einstein and the Roosevelts, will be premiered at DePauw University in October of 2008. [DePauw University Theatre -]


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