2013-2014 Season,  Light in the Piazza

Meet the Playwright – Craig Lucas

by Kristen Leinbach, Dramaturg

As we move from discussing the original novella of The Light in the Piazza, to discussing the musical, Craig Lucas will be our first stop as the award winning playwright.  Throughout his career he has received honors that range from a 1989 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, to a Tony Award for Best Play.  Most recently, in 2005, he received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for non-other than The Light in the Piazza.[1]

Craig _Lucas.jpg
Craig Lucas

While Piazza was in production at Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage, Lucas stated that, “having lived with and within the worst excesses of reactionary America, [he] considers himself the luckiest man alive to be able to express himself.”[2]

Born on April 30th, 1951 Lucas was found by police in a parked car across from a gas station in Atlanta, Georgia.  The acclaimed playwright came from an unconventional background as his unwed teenage mother gave birth to him at a hotel with only her mother there as comfort.  She placed Lucas in a parked car and after calling the police waited for her baby to be safely taken to a local hospital.[3]

Lucas was adopted by a couple living in Pennsylvania where he grew up already beginning to enjoy performance and the theatrical world.  As a child he would write his own scripts for performances he would give as a puppeteer and a magician.[4]  He continued to practice the dramatic arts as he attended Boston University studying theatre and creative writing.  After graduating and throughout his twenties he supported himself by performing in the choruses of a number of Broadway plays which also allowed him time to begin cultivating his talents as a playwright.[5]

Throughout his career Lucas has written countless books, screenplays, and theatrical plays including the award winning musical, The Light in the Piazza.  We look forward to bringing the eloquent language and story of The Light in the Piazza to life on stage as we have the opportunity to share Craig Lucas’ written work with you!


[1] “Craig Lucas – Performer, writer,” Internet Broadway Database, August 5, 2013, accessed August 5, 2013,http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=4924.

[2] “The Light in the Piazza: Craig Lucas’ Laurels,” Arena Stage, August 5, 2013, accessed August 5, 2013,http://www.arenastage.org/shows-tickets/sub-text/2009-10-season/the-light-in-the-piazza/craig-lucas-laurels.shtml.

[3] “The Light in the Piazza: Craig Lucas’ Laurels”

[4] “The Light in the Piazza: Craig Lucas’ Laurels”

[5] “The Light in the Piazza: Craig Lucas’ Laurels”

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