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Small Tragedy

Small Tragedy

By Craig Lucas
Imprint: Theatre Communications Group
: 9781559365079, 96 pages, January 2017


An amateur production of Oedipus elicits social and political tension among its actors, generating meaningful revelations about tragedy in the contemporary world. Lucas's topical and complex play is a remarkably funny, sharply articulated missive aimed at the heart of a generation.


“Lucas, a former actor himself, beautifully conveys the sudden, sweet intimacy that springs up between artists engaged in a grandiose adventure on a 99¢ budget. The play has the shaggy, artless artfulness of a great Robert Altman movie: Small moments catch fire, sympathetic glances take on unexpected meaning, tender alliances are formed. Characters are developed in limpid, offhand strokes, through dialogue, often overlapping, that is so impeccably natural it seems unscripted. ” – Charles Isherwood, Variety

“Filled with provocative questions… an impeccably sustained balance of the abstract and the particular, of the comic and the dramatic. Mr. Lucas has a shrewd ear for actorly anxiety and vanity. His habitual brooding fatalism has never seemed more relevant. ” – Ben Brantley, New York Times

"Full of itnerest, intelligence, amusement, and spine-chilling verity. . . . A play to see and ponder, staying with you, in typical Lucas fashion, long after you leave the theater. "—Village Voice

“Every playwright strives to convey more than a single quality, but each, sooner or later, becomes known for a house specialty: Some writers dispense charm, some offer provocation, some convey somber tragedy or tickling amusement. Craig Lucas, whose plays have at one time or another touched on all of the above qualities, has become our leading supplier of trouble—I mean that, I hurriedly add, in the highest sense of the word. The play that annoys you most is the one you're least likely to forget, and Lucas's plays annoy for better reasons, from deeper convictions, and with longer-lasting effect than those of any living writer I can think of. ” – Michael Feingold, Village Voice