Dates: 1872 – 1966
On the Art of Theatre
Craig was one of the most influential designers of the early twentieth century. He trained under Henry Irving and worked as an actor before designing a series of productions that demonstrate the influence of symbolism. His artistic collaborators included Otto Brahm, Eleonora Duse, Isadora Duncan and Konstantin Stanislavski. In 1905, he published The Art of the Theatre, which called for the development of a non-naturalistic æsthetic. From 1908 to 1929, he edited a quarterly journal entitled The Mask, which presented Craig’s theories.
Edward Gordon Craig Theatric Society
1872-1966, English scene designer, producer, and actor. The son of Ellen Terry, Gordon Craig began acting with Henry Irving’s Lyceum company (1885-97). Feeling that the realism in vogue was too limiting, he turned to scene design and developed new theories. He strove for the poetic and suggestive in his designs in order to capture the essential spirit of the play. His ideas gave new freedom to scene design, although many were impractical in execution. Among his notable productions were The Vikings and Much Ado about Nothing (both in 1903 for Ellen Terry) and Hamlet (with the Moscow Art Theatre in 1912). At Florence, Italy, he founded (1913) the Gordon Craig School for the Art of the Theatre; he also edited a magazine, The Mask (1908-29). He wrote On the Art of the Theatre (1911, rev. ed. 1957), The Theatre Advancing (1921), Scene (1923), and biographies of Henry Irving (1930) and Ellen Terry (1931).