Meet playwright Craig Gustafson, read about his play

Craig Gustafson’s play [Brackets] deals with a suburban newspaper editor and his daughter facing some of the worst that the pandemic has to offer, while debating old habits that might not be relevant any longer

Graid Gustafson

Gustafosn’s plays have been performed locally at Chicago’s Yippiefest, GreenMan Theatre Troupe, Wheaton Drama and Riverfront Playhouse, which produced an evening of his plays, Fasting Cougars. He’s also a past winner of a 2nd Act Players’ new script competition.

Here, we ask Craig to discuss his play, himself and the future of theater post-Covid.

1. What inspired you to write this play?
When I was in college, I worked on the campus newspaper, run by an old newspaper guy. He taught us the journalistic trick of how to rewrite a person’s quotes to “clarify” them. I thought was cheating; that we should run what people actually said, verbatim. When the prompt came for this contest, I considered what might happen if an editor lost a spouse to COVID and gave in to a lifetime of “clarifying” her words.

2. What do you think the audience will take away from it, what will they be talking about after seeing it?
Hopefully, they’ll consider a loved one’s preferences without letting their own prejudices go into override.

3. How and when did you start writing plays?
I’ve been writing sketches, songs and such for local theaters forever. I got serious about it in 2018, after my closest non-spousal friend passed away suddenly and it hit me that maybe life isn’t infinite, and that I should get cracking. I had a night of my ten minute plays performed for a run at a local theater, and three of them have been published in anthologies.

4. What do you expect from a post-covid theater scene?
I know what I’d like; I have no clue what to expect.

To read more about all the plays in our spring production, Pandemic Stories, click here.

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