FRED ALLEY was a lyricist, librettist, actor, singer, and co-founder and artist-in-residence at American Folklore Theatre (AFT), a summer theatre in his home state of Wisconsin (now known as Northern Sky Theater). He collaborated with AFT resident composer James Kaplan on more than 20 shows, including Guys on Ice, Lumberjacks in Love, and The Bachelors, all of which went on to Milwaukee Repertory Theater and were tremendously successful. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Alley died of a heart attack at age 38 on May 1, 2001 while jogging near his home. He had been scheduled to leave for New York a few days later, where he and James Valcq were to receive the Academy of Arts and Letters 2001 Richard Rodgers Production Award for The Spitfire Grill. The show, which had its world premiere in 2000 at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, would open later in 2001 Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.