Allie’s Gift 2011 Announcement

Kevin Barry Crowley

The Filament Theatre Ensemble is thrilled to announce that the 2011 recipient of Allie’s Gift is Kevin Barry Crowley.

Allie’s Gift is an annual financial gift given to a Chicago artist in honor of Allison Powell, Filament’s business manager from February 2010 to her untimely passing on January 2, 2011. Allie had a business mind with an artistic heart. Like so many of us, Allie aspired to ultimately earn a living in the arts, but held day jobs in the meantime to support herself and save money for graduate school. As she wrote in her first correspondence with Filament when discussing her day job, “I love art, but I also love food.” She worked with us to begin setting a path for Filament to create a financially sustainable model where we may one day support an administrative staff as well as the artists who work with us. The Filament Theatre Ensemble will award Allie’s Gift annually on her birthday to one Chicago artist who demonstrates passion, dedication, and a love for their art in addition to a financial need.

We are so honored to be celebrating Allie’s memory through the giving of this award. Her parents, Dayle and Will Spencer, gave a generous donation to the Allie’s Gift fund, ensuring that we could extend this gift in her honor. We are grateful to their contributions,  just as we are grateful for the contributions of their wonderful daughter, who helped us grow our company so much.

Kevin Barry Crowley is a consummate artist, collaborator, and all-around wonderful person – qualities Allie demonstrated and valued in her own life. Below is a statement from Kevin, giving a bit of his personal background and his intended use of the gift.

I hail from Springfield, MA. I have been acting and playing music since I was 17. I attended Salem State College in Salem, MA where I was greatly encouraged to pursue both things professionally. And so I have. I got my Master’s in Acting from Roosevelt in 2009 and have been working steadily since. I am getting married in the fall to a true Chicagoan and fellow thespian, Leslie Frame, who I met working on Wilson Wants It All with The House Theatre. I am currently in the process of creating a one-man show which will incorporate original music in many styles and a wide array of characters. I enjoy transforming and I enjoy the experience of things changing in front of my eyes and ears. I think it’s representative of the nature of life and aesthetically pleasing as well when a piece of theatre brings with it a wide range of emotional life.

I have been wanting to get a keyboard for some time. While I was in school at Roosevelt University from 2006 to 2009 I taught myself how to play piano and since I haven’t had access to the schools computers I’m not able to play as much. I find myself going downtown to the Harold Washington Library a couple times a month for no other reason then to just play. As an actor and a musician it is, of course, difficult to make ends meet, and having both talents could mean being able to find work in the theater as an actor and a musician. Some of the most fulfilling projects I’ve had so far, including Orpheus: Featuring DJ Puzzle as Fate, have allowed me to showcase both talents. It’s a very important task to increase the role of music in my career. It keeps bringing about great things.

I am so honored! It fills my heart with joy to accept this gift from Filament on behalf of Allie.

-Kevin Barry Crowley