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Gretchen Cryer Edit Profile

lyricist , playwright , Actress

Gretchen Cryer, American Playwright, lyricist, actress. Avocations: playing the piano, skiing. F C. Recipient Indiana Arts award Governor of Indiana, 1982. Member Dramatists Guild (council), Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild.


Cryer was born Gretchen Kiger in Dunreith, Indiana, the daughter of Louise Gerladine (née Niven) (1911-1991) and Earl William "Bill" Kiger, Jr. (1911-2004), who sold school supplies and ran a home printing business.


Bachelor, DePauw University, 1957. Master of Arts in Teaching, Harvard University, 1960. Doctor of Arts (honorary), Eastern Michigan University, 1986.


Their first work, For Reasons of Royalty, was produced at DePauw University and their musical Rendezvous was done at Boston University. From there they moved to Broadway, but the musical, Shelter (1973), was not a success, despite a few good reviews. It would prove to be their only Broadway production.

Using the pseudonym Sally Niven (Niven is her mother's maiden name), Cryer played the leading role in "Now Is the Time ..." opposite her real-life husband, David. Dagne Crane had originally been cast in the part, but left shortly before the opening to become a regular on the soap opera "As the World Turns". Cryer and Ford's most notable success was I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road (1978), based on Cryer's life experiences.

She not only co-wrote the piece, but performed in it as well. Despite being lambasted by the critics, the show began to find an audience via word-of-mouth, and producer Joseph Papp moved it from his Public Theater in lower Manhattan uptown to the Circle in the Square theater, where it ran for three years. Cryer and Ford's latest musical, Einstein and the Roosevelts, premiered at DePauw University in October 2008.

Cryer's additional work as a performer included roles on Broadway in Little Me (1962), 110 in the Shade (1963) and 1776 (1969).


  • Avocations: playing the piano, skiing. F C.


  • book

  • Other Work

    • Writer, lyricist (with Nancy Ford) Off-Broadway and Broadway musicals Now Is the Time for All the Good Men, 1967, The Last Sweet Days of Isaac, 1970 (Obie award 1970), Shelter, 1973, Booth Is Back in Town, 1981, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road, 1978, Hang on to the Good Times, 1984, The American Girls Revue, 1998. (with Doug Dyer and Peter Link) The Wedding of Iphigenia and Iphigenia in Concert, 1971. Theater appearances in Little Me, 1962, 110 In The Shade, 1963, Now is the Time For All Good Men, 1967, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road, 1978, A Circle of Sounds, 1978, Blue Plate Special, 1983, To Whom It May Concern, 1985-1986, Alterations, 1986, The Fabulous Party, 1996, The American Girls Review, 1999.

      Film appearances include Hiding Out, 1987. Author, singer: (albums) Cryer and Ford, 1976, You Know My Music, 1977. Author: (musical) Booth is Back in Town, 1981, Eleanor, 1984.

      Playwright: The House That Goes On Forever, 1988.


Their first professional New York production was Now Is The Time For All Good Men (1967), a highly political piece about Cryer's pacifist brother, who spent time as a teacher in a conservative mid-western high school, that was panned by the critics. Undaunted, they mounted The Last Sweet Days of Isaac – with Austin Pendleton and Fredricka Weber – in 1970, winning not only rave reviews, but the Obie, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards as well.


Member Dramatists Guild (council), Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild.


  • Other Interests

    Playing the piano.


Married Donald David Cryer, June 7, 1958 (divorced June 1970). Children: Robin, Jon, Shelly.

Earl William Kiger

Louise Gerladine (Niven) Kiger

Donald David Cryer

Robin Cryer

Jon Cryer

Shelly Cryer