Drop Dead Dangerous: Meet The Assassins

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We kick off a series of weekly casting announcements for Assassins with Rich Gray as Charles Guiteau. Learn about Gray’s career as a local actor and composer in his 22nd production with the 5th Avenue, and discover the unique presidential assassin he portrays: a man with a troubled mind and aspirations for a career in the White House.

1516 Assassins Guiteau Rich Gray
About the Actor:  Richard Gray

A regular in the Seattle theater scene, Richard Gray was last seen on the ACT stage in the pre-Broadway run of First Date. He has performed in 21 productions at The 5th Avenue Theatre including recent stagings of The Music Man, Carousel, Spamalot and A Room with a View. Among his favorite roles are “Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Max Bialystock in The Producers and a Gregory Award Nominated performance as Amos Hart in Chicago.

Gray is also known as a celebrated composer in Seattle, with recent works including Cold Turkey, Love Is Love, Time Again in Oz, Lyle the Crocodile, the Barrymore Award Winning Best Musical The Flea and The Professor, and The Gregory Award nominated Dick Whittington and His Cat. 

Gray’s upcoming role at the 5th Avenue is a dark venture into the mind of presidential assassin, Charles Guiteau.

About the Assassin: Charles Guiteau

Born in 1841, Charles Guiteau was a preacher, writer and lawyer who had a history of mental illness. He took an interest in politics and penned a few speeches in support of the Republican nominee, James Garfield. After Garfield won the presidential election, Guiteau felt the new president owed him a position in his administration for his support and demanded an ambassadorship to Paris or Austria. His requests were repeatedly denied and he was banned from visiting White House. Angered by this rejection and feeling God had told him to, Guiteau plotted his revenge and on July 2, 1881, shot President Garfield.

Famed inventor Alexander Graham Bell hastily invented the world’s first metal detector to help doctors locate the assassin’s bullet lodged in the president’s body. His efforts were in vain. The doctors laid President Garfield on a metal spring mattress to search for the bullet, which lead to many “failed attempts” to locate it. Additionally, there was little understanding at the time of germs and the necessity for sterilization. Despite these medical failures, the president managed to survive several months before succumbing to his wounds.


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