Don Elwell

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on June 26 2019. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Don_Elwell. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Don_Elwell, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Don_Elwell. Purge

Dr. Don Elwell (born 1952) is an American novelist, Playwright, Director, instructor, and Blogger. He is the founding director of both the Greylight and Grindelbone arts organizations and the author of The Coyote Trilogy of plays as well as the novels In the Shade and The Ganymeade Protocol.[1]

Early life

The son of a vaudeville performer, Elwell was born in Birmingham Alabama in 1952. When he was ten, the family moved permanently to their vacation home on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton, Florida. The island, while beautiful, was isolating for a young boy used to a neighborhood full of children and relatives. Elwell grew up sailing, often alone, and remembers spending a great deal of time by himself with his own thoughts.[2] Elwell became engaged in theatre in high school acting in plays and performing at various functions as a magician and escape artists,[3] but it was while attending Stetson University that he made a commitment to the artform, changing his major from pre-law to Speech and Theatre and focusing on a theatrical career.[4]


Graduating Stetson in 1974,[5] he then completed a master's degree in theatre at Florida State University the following year.[2] Following his college work, Elwell worked in a number of theatrical venues, including tours with Theater South Productions, work at the Nashville Academy Theatre, film extra work in New York, and directing at a CETA funded theatre company at the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola, FL.[2] In 1980, Elwell left New York to work in film and video in the Los Angeles area. Over the following fifteen years, he worked in a number of production venues, including work with Motion Systems as a Grip and directing a number of small films and rock videos.[4][6]

Ultimately, Elwell found the film industry unsatisfying[2] and returned to teaching and theatre, acting as pro tem director of the Citrus College (Glendora, CA) theatre department and creating their technical theatre program.[7] It was at Citrus that Elwell first produced Coyote, drawing from spoken word experiences at the North Hollywood Iguana Cafe[2] and presenting the show with the name “Franklin Zorg” as author. The “Zorg” character would later emerge in Elwell’s solo show The Death of Maynard G. Krebs.[8] Elwell would go on to teach in a number of institutions throughout his career, including Monmouth College of Illinois and Carroll College of Maryland,[9] where he would create virtually the entire curriculum for the new theatre department.[10]

Greylight Theatre

In the early 90’s, Elwell moved to Southern Illinois so that his wife, sculptor Gail Elwell, could complete her own graduate work.[11] It was at this time that Elwell began his own studies for a Ph.D. through the Union Institute in Cincinnati and began, as a consequence of that research, the Greylight Theatre.[2][4] The Greylight was conceived as a foundry for new work, and over the next several years produced an impressive body of works from a number of new artists, including Jason Hedrick,[11] Margie Pignataro,[12] Kenneth Boe,[13] Robert Streit,[14] John and Clare McCall,[15] and others, as well as all three pieces of his Coyote Trilogy. Many of these works, as well as a history of the Greylight and depictions of the Greylight “process” for producing new work are included in a compendium published in 2001.[16]

The Greylight also produced a number of festivals and happenings in this period, including the Southern Illinois Renaissance Faire[17][18] and the DaDa Art Party.[19] Following his work with Carroll College, Elwell created Grindlebone Arts as a way of bringing the Greylight process to the Baltimore area, producing The Death of Maynard G. Krebs and Cyberpunk Opera and Dub for Babylon from his trilogy, as well as works by Margie Pignataro.[2][20]

During this same period, Elwell set up Wild Shore Press, an online publishing house printing his own catalogue of plays and other works as well as those of others, including a collaboration with 60’s pop Icon Ian Witcomb.[21] Most of the Wild Shore titles have since been moved to Create Space, the in house publishing company of, for distribution.


  1. Don Elwell. "Don Elwell (Author of The Ganymeade Protocol)". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Waarschuwing over inhoud". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  3. Playground Daily News: Ft. Walton, Fl, 10 October 1968.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Guest Author Don Elwell". Treet TV. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  5. Playground Daily News: Ft. Walton, FL, 6 June 1974
  6. "Underground USA Heavy Metal 3: Alan Calzatti, Don Elwell: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  7. "Citrus College | Fine and Performing Arts". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  8. "Imported 2011-10-18 - Archives". 2001-03-09. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  9. "MC". 2002-02-05. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  10. Lundwall Creative, Inc. "Today, Fall 2003, No. 13". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Home". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  12. "Plays and Other Rabble - Home". Margie Pignataro. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  13. Ken Boe. "Ken Boe". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  14. "Imported 2011-10-18 - Archives". 2001-04-05. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  15. "Cabaret Decadance • Official Website". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  16. "Greylight Theatre". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  17. "First annual Renaissance Faire begins - Imported 2011-10-18 - Archives". 2002-10-17. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  18. "Third annual renaissance faire takes place to revitalize murphysboro - Imported 2011-10-18 - Archives". 2004-09-16. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  19. "Inspired by a motley crowd of World War I exiles, Greylight Theatre's annual Dada Art Party, now in its fourth year, is an eclectic mix of spoken word, impromptu theater and improvisational chaos, one of the event's organizers says. - Imported 2011-10-18 - Archives". 1999-06-25. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  20. "Here Is Somewhere Else: Futuristic Play Remembers a Past Where the Future Was Still Up For Grabs | Baltimore City Paper". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  21. Letters from Lotusland: An Englishman in Exile: Ian Whitcomb, Don Elwell: Books. 2009-02-09. ISBN 978-0-578-03610-6. 

External links

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