Craig Lucas

Playwright, Screenwriter, Producer
This former actor and chorus performer made the move to writing in the early 1980s. With encouragement from composer Stephen Sondheim, Craig Lucas fashioned a two-character musical "Marry Me A Little" (1980-81) using ... Read more »
Born: 04/29/1950 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Filmography

Writer (10)

Dying Gaul 2005 (Movie)

(from play) (Source Material)

Dying Gaul 2005 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

The Secret Lives of Dentists 2003 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Screenplay

Reckless 1995 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Reckless 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Prelude to a Kiss 1992 (Movie)

("Prelude to a Kiss") (Play as Source Material)

Prelude to a Kiss 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Longtime Companion 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Blue Window 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Writer
Director (2)

Birds of America 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

Dying Gaul 2005 (Movie)

(Director)
Camera, Film, & Tape (1)

Ocean's Deadliest (TV Show)

Director of Photography
Producer (1)

Prelude to a Kiss 1992 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

Biography

This former actor and chorus performer made the move to writing in the early 1980s. With encouragement from composer Stephen Sondheim, Craig Lucas fashioned a two-character musical "Marry Me A Little" (1980-81) using Sondheim trunk songs. The show, which was mounted Off-Broadway by the Production cemented a long association with the late director Norman Rene. In 1984, Rene staged Lucas' "Blue Window", a drama about seven New Yorkers at a dinner party which made typical use of fantasy and seemingly banal conversation to make pointed comments about life and relationships. (PBS aired a TV version in 1987.) Admittedly not to everyone's taste, Lucas' work displays a talent for infusing seemingly mundane events with poignancy and deep feelings. "Three Postcards" (1987) was a charming chamber musical written with Craig Carnelia that covered the lives of three life-long female friends who meet for lunch. This jewel of a show was overshadowed by larger, more "popular" fare and did not have the run it deserved,<p>Distressed over the lack of Hollywood's response to the AIDS crisis, the openly gay Lucas wrote one of the first high-profile features to center on the disease. "Longtime Companion" (1990). Directed by Rene, it is a well-acted but structurally flawed depiction of the devastation felt by the gay community. Co-star Bruce Davison earned a richly deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and there was also strong work from Campbell Scott, Stephen Caffrey, Mary-Louise Parker and Mark Lamos. The team's follow-up, "Prelude to a Kiss" (1992), adapted from Lucas' 1990 play, was a romantic fable in which a dying old man switches bodies with a young bride on her wedding day. The story centers on the husband's struggle as he finds himself attracted to the dying old man over his sexy wife. Though it could be read on many levels, many saw the story as a modern day fairy tale for those who lives are touched by AIDS as the play and the film both pose questions on the nature of love and acceptance. In 1995, Rene and Lucas reteamed again for the feature adaptation of "Reckless". Adapted from the 1988 play, the film follows the adventures of a woman whose husband confesses to hiring a hitman to kill her on Christmas Eve. She escapes and seeks refuge with a couple who are not what they seem. A darkly comic fantasy, "Reckless" is quintessential Lucas, mixing fantasy and realism and raising pointed issues about how society treats outsiders and those perceived as "different".<p>With Rene's 1996 death from AIDS complications, Lucas lost his longtime collaborator and mentor. Filling the void was actor-turned-director Joe Mantello who staged a 1996 revival of "Blue Window" and then steered "God's Heart" in its debut at Trinity Rep in Providence, RI. While the latter met with mixed to negative reviews in its NYC premiere, it raised several interesting points about the growing influence of technology. Perhaps inspired by his own forays into film work. his drama "The Dying Gaul" (1998) detailed the effects of power and money on a screenwriter whose work is optioned by a Hollywood producer.

Relationships

Patrick Barnes

Companion

Charles Lucas

Father
adoptive father worked for the FBI on the Rosenberg case

Eleanore Lucas

Mother
adoptive mother

Timothy Melester

Companion
born c. 1954 together from 1983 until his death on January 5, 1995 from complications resulting from AIDS

EDUCATION

School of Fine Arts, Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts 1973
graduated cum laude; also studied poetry with Anne Sexton

Carnegie-Mellon University

Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
attended a pre-college acting school

Milestones

2005

Penned "The Light in the Piazza," which opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center; earned a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical

2002

Wrote the screenplay "The Secret Lives of Dentists," adapted from Jane Smiley's novel "The Age of Grief"

2002

Collaborated with Adam Guettel on a musical version of "Light in the Piazza"

2000

Made stage directing debut with "Saved or Destroyed" by the late Harry Kondoleon

2000

"Stranger" opened Off-Broadway

1998

Play "The Dying Gaul" opened Off-Broadway

1996

"God's Heart", a play, premiered at Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island; production mounted at Lincoln Center in 1997 to mixed reviews

1995

Wrote screen adaptation of his play "Reckless"

1992

First film producing credit, as co-producer of "Prelude to a Kiss" (based on his play)

1990

Broadway debut as playwright, "Prelude to a Kiss"

1989

First film as screenwriter, "Longtime Companion", directed by Rene

1987

Filmed version of "Blue Window" debuted on PBS' "American Playhouse" in May

1980

Wrote first play, "Missing Persons" (produced Off-Broadway in 1981; revised in 1995); first collaboration with Norman Rene

1980

Conceived, wrote and starred in Off-Broadway musical revue, "Marry Me A Little", a collection of Stephen Sondheim songs

1973

Performed in Broadway choruses of "Shenandoah", "On the Twentieth Century", "Rex" and "Sweeney Todd"

1973

Moved to New York City

1963

Performed as puppeteer and magician at children's birthday parties

Wrote book for musical based on the film "Don Juan DeMarco"; project was workshopped but underwent revisions

Attended a pre-college acting school at Carnegie-Mellon University

Bonus Trivia

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"I sort of think my job as an artist is to get out of the way. When the work is the best, I'm exercising the least conscious control," --Craig Lucas quoted in THEATERWEEK, February 12-18, 1996

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Lucas received the George and Elisabeth Marton Award for Playwriting from the Foundation of the Dramatist Guild in 1984-85.

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Lucas received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 1987 and the Rockefeller Foundation in 1989.

.

TONY: Have you . . . sold out to Hollywood?Lucas: Yes, I've made myself a complete whore upon occasion. I don't wish I'd done anything differently. That seems a fruitless endeavor.TONY: Any juicy anecdotes?Lucas: Writing, like making love, is a form of communication, or can be, When you take a lot of money and then are told what to communicate, that makes you a whore. There are already too many stories of Hollywood whoredom, and mine aren't any more shocking or interesting than anybody else's.--From TIME OUT NEW YORK, May 7-14, 1998

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