Craig Gustafson has been writing 10-minute plays for the past two years. His Lending a Hand has been published in Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019 and Save Me, Myron Glick! will be published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2021.
Here. Craig shares with us his thoughts on his festival play, Spot the Camel, and on the future of theater during and after Covid.
1. How do you describe the essence of your play to those who haven’t seen it?
Long-term love and relationships. How people and their loved ones react to an undiagnosed medical concern.
2. What was your inspiration to write this script?
My inspiration was life. My memory really has been going slightly south, then I found this graphic online and wouldn’t give up until I found the goddamned camel. Much of the play consists of real life conversations I’ve had with my wife.
3. How and why did you become a playwright?
I’ve been writing sketches and songs for many years for community theater, but didn’t get serious about it until early 2018, when my beloved friend died unexpectedly from a heart attack brought on by lupus. The Giant Revelation suddenly punched me in the nose – maybe time isn’t infinite, and if I wanted to write, I’d better get cracking. Since then, a night of my plays was produced by a local theater, three of my 10 minute plays have been/will shortly be published, and I was accepted into the Dramatists Guild of America. And it took a friend’s death to do that. Don’t wait. Do it.
4. What are your hopes and expectations for theater in a post-Covid world?
When there is a vaccine, I’ll have some hopes and expectations. Right now, there are none. I don’t see a point in speculating about receiving a pony when all of the horses are sick. Or dead.
5. Have you been writing during the Covid quarantine? If so, what projects do you have underway? If not, how have you been filling your days?
I have been writing, but writer’s block has been the Man Who Came to Dinner. One of my plays, about two amateur vampire hunters and the female vampire they inadvertently brought with them on the homeward bound ship, ended up becoming a satire of anti-maskers.
I’m directing Zoom productions of my plays. Five on October 21, five upcoming on November 18.