Performance Honors CC Philosopher Glenn Gray and Ursula Gray

Grays' Grandson Brings Production to CC

The Colorado College Philosophy Department is hosting two dance performances based on the lives of former CC Philosophy Professor J. Glenn Gray and his wife, Ursula Gray. "The Warriors: A Love Story" is an award-winning multimedia dance-theater production by ARCOS Dance and will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4 and 5, in the Celeste Theatre in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave. This event is free and open to the public; tickets are available at the Worner Center Desk, 902 N. Cascade Ave.

The show is directed by Eliot Gray Fisher, grandson of Glenn and Ursula Gray. Inspired by the experiences of his maternal grandparents during World War II, the production chronicles Fisher's search for their legacy and universal truths against the immense backdrop of war. The name of the performance reflects Glenn Gray's most celebrated work, "The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle," his philosophical memoir which features excerpts from his journal entries written during the Second World War and remains on the Marine Corps reading list. The memoir serves as inspiration for scenes in ARCOS' production, and Fisher himself is the narrator, grappling with the complexity of his heritage, as dancers bring to life significant moments from Glenn and Ursula's story.

Glenn entered the army as a private in May 1941, after being drafted the same day he received his doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University. Ursula was a dancer in Dresden, Germany, who studied with early modern dance pioneers, including Grett Palucca, before the war and survived the 1945 Allied bombing of Dresden. After fleeing her home and escaping to Munich under American occupation, Ursula met Glenn, where they both worked in efforts to revive the university system.

The newly married couple relocated to Colorado Springs in 1948, where Glenn was hired as the new chair of the CC Philosophy Department. Raising two daughters, Glenn grew the department to national prominence while Ursula danced and taught, developing her own creative movement program that was beloved by the local community for decades. The J. Glenn Gray Memorial Award at CC is given to an outstanding philosophy major in each year's graduating class. In addition, the J. Glenn and Ursula Gray Memorial Fund help support the Philosophy Department's Colloquium Series.

The performance combines choreography, original music, expressive sound design, archival footage, actual family heirlooms, a diverse array of texts, and interactive video projections, blurring the lines between artistic disciplines and exploring history as mythology. The fast-paced show received rave reviews at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, earning Mervyn Stutter's "Spirit of the Fringe" award as well as accolades from national publications.

Glenn died in 1977 leaving behind a multitude of essays and books, and was remembered in an article written by Political Science Professor Tim Fuller in the August 2014 Bulletin. Ursula passed away in 2009 and her memorial service in Colorado Springs was attended by dozens of former students who danced in her honor.

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