Welcome to Poetry Alive.

Carney Gray

Owner, Actor

Carney returns for his eleventh consecutive tour with Poetry Alive!, having previously toured in the 2001-2002 company, as well as in 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019. Seeing the joy and satisfaction he was able to bring to students, teachers, and community members of all ages made him feel like he was a force for good in an increasingly complex and sometimes overwhelming world.

Carney is a Asheville based professional producer, director, and actor working in film, video, commercial, industrial, voiceover, print, hand modeling and the stage. He has extensive experience with both classical and contemporary drama.

He has appeared all over the country, including working with Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Louisville, performing Casca in Julius Caesar, King Antiochus in Pericles, Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Navarre in Love's Labour's Lost. He has also worked with Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO) in Columbus, Ohio, playing The Mayor of Hooverville in The Grapes of Wrath, Door Off Broadway in Door County, Wisconsin, playing Abbot Costello in Monky Business, Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, playing Larry/Scrooge in Inspecting Carol, Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, Minnesota, playing David Bliss in Hay Fever, Van Helsing in Dracula, and Lane/Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest, Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, Minnesota, playing Frank in Educating Rita, Tom in Dinner With Friends, and Harry the Horse in Guys and Dolls.

He also has extensive stage credits in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, having appeared as Captain Harcourt in Melville Slept Here at Park Square Theatre, Father Mark in Tony n' Tina's Wedding at Hey City Theater, Froggy LeSueur in The Foreigner at Seasons Dinner Theatre, and Felix in The Odd Couple for Pigs Eye Theatre, among many others. Carney holds an MFA in Theatre (Professional Actor Training Program) from The Ohio State University, as well as a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota.

Carney has been acting since about the 6th grade. Acting, and performing, provide an opportunity to him to bring some joy to the lives of others and share his passion for poetry and drama.

Carney enjoys touring for the opportunity to see places he might not otherwise visit, and meet interesting people he might not otherwise meet. Poetry Alive! is a great company to work for because they always treat actors like family.

One of Carney's favorite poems is by the 13th century Sufi poet Jelaluddin Rumi:

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.

Carney has taught theatre, acting and drama at the college level, and performed in regional theatre, and film.

"Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing."

- Sir Ralph Richardson


Poetry Alive!
Poetry Performance Like Nothing Else!