The event coincides with the TCG re-release of Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia, perhaps the monologuist's most famous work. In 2004 Spalding Gray took his own life by jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the waters of New York Harbor.
Gray won an OBIE for Swimming to Cambodia and filmed the monologue with director Jonathan Demme. Other works include Morning, Noon and Night; Monster in a Box; Gray's Anatomy; and It's a Slippery Slope. He performed on Broadway in Our Town and Gore Vidal's The Best Man.
Gray often premiered his works at the Performing Garage or at P.S. 122. Later, as his fame grew, the polished pieces graduated to extended runs at Lincoln Center, where he would perform on Sunday and Monday nights. While he also took on conventional acting roles in films such as "Beaches" and "The Paper," he was best known for—and by his own account, most comfortable in—his confessional solo pieces, which routinely received lavish praise from critics.
Many of his works took a comic look with his inability to cope with his own profession and life. Swimming to Cambodia grew out of a trying trip to southeast Asia to film a supporting role in "The Killing Fields." Monster in a Box centered on his difficulty in finishing his first novel—a book about how he found it impossible to take a successful vacation. Gray's Anatomy concerned his descent into alternative medicine to treat an eye condition. And It's a Slippery Slope dealt frankly with his decision to leave longtime companion and collaborator Renee Shafransky (who he mentioned often in his monologues) to marry the young Kathy Russo, with whom he was expecting a child.