skip navigation
Craig Lucas

Craig Lucas

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Dying Gaul DVD Romantically charged and painfully gut-wrenching, this film will leave you... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Birds Of America DVD No matter how odd your family, they're still your family. Matthew Perry stars in... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 30, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, USA Profession: screenwriter, playwright, producer, director, actor, singing waiter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL 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,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...

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,

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".

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.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Performed as puppeteer and magician at children's birthday parties
:
Attended a pre-college acting school at Carnegie-Mellon University
1973:
Moved to New York City
1973:
Performed in Broadway choruses of "Shenandoah", "On the Twentieth Century", "Rex" and "Sweeney Todd"
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
1987:
Filmed version of "Blue Window" debuted on PBS' "American Playhouse" in May
1989:
First film as screenwriter, "Longtime Companion", directed by Rene
1990:
Broadway debut as playwright, "Prelude to a Kiss"
1992:
First film producing credit, as co-producer of "Prelude to a Kiss" (based on his play)
1995:
Wrote screen adaptation of his play "Reckless"
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
1998:
Play "The Dying Gaul" opened Off-Broadway
:
Wrote book for musical based on the film "Don Juan DeMarco"; project was workshopped but underwent revisions
2000:
Made stage directing debut with "Saved or Destroyed" by the late Harry Kondoleon
2000:
"Stranger" opened Off-Broadway
2002:
Collaborated with Adam Guettel on a musical version of "Light in the Piazza"
2002:
Wrote the screenplay "The Secret Lives of Dentists," adapted from Jane Smiley's novel "The Age of Grief"
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
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -
School of Fine Arts, Boston University: Boston , Massachusetts - 1973

Notes

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

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

"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

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Timothy Scott Melester. Surgeon. Born c. 1954; together from 1983 until his death on January 5, 1995 from complications resulting from AIDS.
companion:
Patrick Barnes. Writer.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles S Lucas. FBI agent. Adoptive father; worked for the FBI on the Rosenberg case.
mother:
Eleanore Lucas. Painter. Adoptive mother.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute