Crown International Film Festival

Gray Area

About Project

Kate Gray struggles with a full-time career as a therapist, raising four young children, past personal traumas, and marriage. In an attempt to hold it all together, she turns to alcohol. As Kate spirals down through the “gray area” of addiction and anxiety, she must decide whether to choose to reach out for help or drown in her despair.

This film challenges the viewer to reevaluate what alcoholism can look like. With mom wine culture at an all time high, “Gray Area” provides a timely look into how many contemporary women can struggle.

Adapted into a screenplay by Adria Dawn, this film is based on the memoir “MY self: An Autobiography of Survival,” by Kelley Kitley.

Director Biography

As a filmmaker, Adria is the co-founder of Tarleton/Dawn Productions. She has written and produced over 20 films, multiple live theatre shows, and a comedy web series. Adria is also the co-founder of Revealing Media Group, which makes films for social change with young people. Though this, Adria co-creates the award winning film series Kids Matter.

Adria Dawn, co-Director, Producer, Writer

She recently completed the film Gray Area, which she wrote, produced and directed with her husband David Tarleton this year.

As an actor, Adria recently wrapped working on the Chicago made horror film Super Host. She also starred in the award winning Black Lives Matter film Karen, which she also served as producer and writer for. Other notable recent acting credits include playing an early onset Alzheimer’s patient on Chicago Med.

She is most known for playing the dysfunctional outcast April Tuna on Ryan Murphy’s high school cult hit comedy Popular (18 episodes and received a nomination for “Gutsiest Woman on Television” from Jane Magazine.

As an educator, Adria private coaches actors, and has taught at and toured colleges teaching on camera acting and auditioning, and self management . She currently teaches at Acting Studio Chicago. Tarleton/Dawn Productions, and The Performer’s School. She has taught on-camera acting workshops across the United States and Europe.

David Tarleton, co-Director, Producer, DP, Editor

An award-winning producer, director and editor, David has created programs for Sony Pictures, The Muppets, Syfy Channel, Walt Disney Pictures, 3Net, Fox, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Tokyopop, Mattel, Universal, Warner Brothers, Baby Einstein, Showtime, Learn360, Random Media and more.

David is producer and director of the award-winning feature film “Hunter,” a supernatural thriller set in Chicago, distributed by Random Media. David produced and directed the groundbreaking 3D science fiction anthology television series “Dark Secrets,” for cable channel 3Net, which played domestically, internationally, and on Netflix. He is executive producer, director and editor of the award-winning improv comedy series “Dorkumentary,” starring Adria Dawn, and was editor of the Webby Award-winning Muppets series “Statler and Waldorf From The Balcony,” for Disney. His breakthrough film as producer, director and editor, the gothic fairy-tale “Dinner,” premiered at Slamdance, played on SyFy, and was released on DVD.

David produced and edited the award-winning feature documentary “What Babies Want,” narrated by Noah Wyle, and its follow-up “Reducing Infant Mortality.” He produced and edited “The Making of Warriors of Heaven and Earth,” and “The Making of Double Vision,” for Sony Pictures. He was also a producer, DP and editor on the pilot for “Dark Secrets,” and senior editor for “The Pat Kilbane Show” for Comedy Central.

David co-founded the production company Tarleton/Dawn Productions in 2004 with his wife, Adria Dawn. The company has produced over twenty films, numerous plays, a streaming series, and has an education division. David is also a partner in Revealing Media Group, which produces the award-winning socially activist short film series “Kids Matter,” including the short films “Unsafe,” “Blackout,” “Help,” “Pressure,” “Viral,” “Excluded,” and “Bystander,” distributed throughout the world, which he produced, co-directed, shot and edited.

He is a tenured Full Professor in the Cinema and Television Arts department at Columbia College Chicago. He is the Director of Graduate Programs, and primarily teaches Film Directing and Editing. He can be found on the web at

Project Credits

Adria Dawn – Director

David Tarleton – Director

Adria Dawn – Writer

Adria Dawn – Producer

David Tarleton – Producer

Kelley Kitley – Producer

Ryan Kitley – Producer

Meghan Maureen McDonough – Key Cast

Ryan Kitley – Key Cast

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