Craig Lucas is a American playwright, screenwriter, theatre director, musical actor, and film director. He is currently Associate Artistic Director at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle.
Born on April 30, 1951, and abandoned in a car in Atlanta, Lucas was adopted when he was eight months old by a Pennsylvanian couple. His adoptive family was conservative; his father was an FBI agent and his mother was a housewife. He graduated in 1969 from Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA. In the 1960s and 1970s, Lucas was interested in the political left and discovered an attraction towards men. He recalls that his coming out made it possible for him to develop as a playwright and as a person.
In 1973, Lucas graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and creative writing. His mentor, Anne Sexton, urged him to try his luck in New York. He worked in many day jobs while performing in Broadway musicals including Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, and Sweeney Todd (musical).
In 1991, he rewrote his play, Missing Persons, which a friend showed to director Norman Rene. Norman promised to produce the play when finished. This was the beginning of a fifteen-year collaboration. While working on Missing Persons, the two developed a musical revue entitled Marry Me A Little, about two people who live next to each other and never meet yet both sing about the failure to connect with others.
After his early work on romantic comedies, Lucas began to write more serious works about AIDS, including Singing Forest and The Dying Gaul, the latter of which was made into a film that Lucas also directed. Lucas also authored the book for The Light in the Piazza, which garnered him a Tony Award nomination. Lucas also directed classic plays such as Miss Julie and Loot.
His work is unintentionally divided in gay-plays (Blue Window, Longtime Companion) and straight-plays (Reckless, Three Postcards, Prelude to a Kiss). Lucas considers himself able to write about human problems in a global manner.
In 2004, he won the Obie Award for Best American Play for Small Tragedy and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay for The Secret Lives of Dentists. In 2001, Lucas received an Obie Award for his direction of Harry Kondoleon’s Saved or Destroyed.
Lucas’ other awards include the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the PEN/Laura Pels Mid-Career Achievement Award, the Outer Critics, L.A. Drama Critics, Drama-Logue and LAMBDA Literary Awards; he has also received a Tony Award nomination, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the PEW Charitable Trust and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Prelude to a Kiss.