Grey Forge LeFey (formerly known as Doug Tennant) has been participating in theatre since grade school, and got seriously involved in community theatre in 1982. He directed and acted in dozens of shows for other groups, until in 2011, he was presented the opportunity to produce and direct a play strictly for himself.
Confessions from the Ladies Room by Shane Riggs was intended to be a one-up event, but the experience of that particular script, with that particular cast, and that particular stage manager was theatre magic for Grey, and plans were quickly made to launch a new company. The caveats that made this venture peculiar were 1. It would not be a community theatre, but a vehicle for Grey’s own artistry in collaborating with a repertoire of his favorite actors and crew to bring his bucket list shows to the stage. Said bucket list would only include comedies with pointed commentary. And 2. no “artistic temperament” would be tolerated. All involved would practice kindness and respect, or be shown the door. Prima donnas and divas were not welcome.
Then, a name, a name! Gilda Shedstecker Presents! was born (And there is story behind “Gilda Shedstecker” and how this new group in Canton came to be produced by the legendary Gilda, for another time). GSP produced some fun, unique, and truly magnificent theatre over the next 5 years, not the least of which were the annual parodies they became known for and original comedy material.
It was a tremendous time of trials and triumphs for Grey. The family and love that were birthed in that environment cannot be trivialized, and they were largely the foundation for what followed. Grey had the opportunity to fulfill another life-long goal of moving west, and in the fall of 2018 he and his huzzband settled into southern California near Palm Springs.
What was to become of Gilda Shedstecker Presents? A new start demands reinventing oneself, but with so much good to build on, the only solution was a transformation for the Left Coast. Gilda turned over the reins, SoFonda Presents! was born, and the show goes on.
So however you came to be here, whether you’re a fan from the past or a new friend, thank you for joining me and whoever I may be fortunate enough to drag on board for any given project. The future ~ all twirly and sparkling ~ awaits.
~Grey Forge LeFey