Craig’s work as a playwright:
The Unintended Consequences of Love – a one woman monologue. Performed at the 2006 Carol Shields Festival of New Works at Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Donation – A young woman finds the anonymous sperm donor who is her biological father, and his childless wife. (A 10 minute, two women, one man play.) Performed as a staged reading by Sarasvàti Productions as part of their “One Night Stands” series at Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Black Bottle Man – Craig’s stage adaptation of his novel. Developed with the support of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights, with financial support from The Royal Manitoba Theatre Center. Produced by Mecca Productions at Winnipeg’s Asper Centre and Brandon’s Evans Theatre.
Artistic Statement – Approximately once a year, for fifteen years, I directed a theatrical production in Brandon, Manitoba.
These have included The Sound of Music, Romeo and Juliet, Our Town and Martin McDonogh’s, The Cripple of Inishmann.
For me, each rehearsal is a chance to discover the music of that playwright’s words. It’s these experiences that compel me to write. In 2005 I began work on the script Black Bottle Man (then titled Rembrandt). Throughout the process I received encouragement and constructive criticism from theatre professionals. These include: Bruce McManus (first in his role as Writer-in-Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library and later as dramaturge); Rory Runnels of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights; MTC Producer, Laurie Lam; and most recently from director, Ann Hodges.
In 2009, due to the script’s strong narrative elements I reframed the story as a novel. That novel, also titled Black Bottle Man was published by Great Plains Publications of Winnipeg, and won the 2011 American Moonbeam Awards Gold Medal for best young adult fantasy, as well as being a finalist for the Canadian Prix Aurora Award and two Manitoba Book Awards.
Since then, with the encouragement of Bruce and Rory, I’ve returned to the theatrical script with new ideas and energy, dismantling the narrative elements and reconstructing the story to be more purely dialogue driven.
One of my core beliefs as a writer was instilled by my acting teacher, Nancy Drake. She taught me that “Acting is reacting to a situation in which you believe, utterly.”
For me, once the premise of a story is established, the emotional truth of the situation for each character must be unassailable. They must speak and react to the circumstances they’re faced with in a way that is utterly unavoidable, because of the logic of who they are.
I’ve gladly devoted countless hours to this story and know that it has touched many people. For me, this script has always been about the music of the spoken word and the magic of the stage.