The Process Series and Howard Craft | Arts Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Process Series and Howard Craft 

Click for larger image • Playwright Howard Craft, left, and UNC Process Series director Joseph Megel with the cast of "Caleb Calypso and The Midnight Marauders" at Manbites Dog Theater

Photo by D.L. Anderson

Click for larger image • Playwright Howard Craft, left, and UNC Process Series director Joseph Megel with the cast of "Caleb Calypso and The Midnight Marauders" at Manbites Dog Theater


The Process Series + The Process Series and Clifford Owens + Our review of Caleb Calypso


On the day of his new play's premiere last week, Howard Craft reflected on the origins of Caleb Calypso and the Midnight Marauders. As a tank crewman in the Second Armored Cavalry, he was stationed in Bamberg, Germany from 1988 to 1990. When the wall between East and West Germany fell, he was there. During his two-year deployment, he saw a lot of working-class guys who'd brought to the service all of their civilian racist, sexist and homophobic baggage. In short, a lot of Craft's own experiences are in Caleb Calypso.

"It's semiautobiographical," he admits. "Caleb is a lot cooler than I ever was. And a lot of characters are bits and pieces of guys I knew in several situations." Craft's play follows a group of soldiers during that changing time.

Though he's had several plays produced at N.C. Central University, Craft admits that he's self-taught. "I taught myself how to write plays by reading August Wilson. Before the Process Series, I didn't even know what a dramaturge was."

It's an important point. When he got into a jam while writing Caleb Calypso, a literary analyst trained to probe the blind spots in a playwright's world was exactly what he needed. He now credits dramaturge Marshall Botvinick with helping him find the current ending to his play.

For Craft, one main takeaway from his new play is this: The guys we'll meet aren't all they're cracked up to be. "They're rough-edged guys trying to be tough. The truth is, you're dealing with kids. At the end of the day these are just boys, and they're not playing with toys; they're playing with things that kill people."

He considers Private Bates a particularly poignant character in his script. "There are hundreds of Bates. He's 18 years old. Think about that guy facing the Taliban."

Craft pauses. Then he says, "We need to be very on top of where we send these children to fight and die in our name. And for what causes we send them to be there."

Howard Craft's Caleb Calypso and the Midnight Marauders shows at Manbites Dog Theatre through Nov. 14. Tickets are $10-$17 at can be purchased online, at the Manbites box office or by calling 682-3343.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

Cherry has a fantastic personality, and so it is that all her interviews are a joy for me to read!

by Siobhan DiNardo on Cherry Vanilla's New Wave Adventures in the Sixties and Seventies Flavor Jaybird O'Berski's Jacques Brel Revue (Arts Feature)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Cherry has a fantastic personality, and so it is that all her interviews are a joy for me to read!

by Siobhan DiNardo on Cherry Vanilla's New Wave Adventures in the Sixties and Seventies Flavor Jaybird O'Berski's Jacques Brel Revue (Arts Feature)

What a beautifully written article. Great writer!

by Kathy Lestelle on Panorama Captures Life in Our State Through a Lens of Intimate Reality, Not Drive-By Nostalgia (Arts Feature)

Sarah is just plain fucking cool. Her music, her actions. Keep it up and play more Disarmers shows in Raleigh!

by Remo on Sarah Shook and Erika Libero Mark Progressive Territory With Rainbow Decals and Amplify Women’s Voices (Arts Feature)

The quotes from the artists read like the vapid gobblygook newspeak of a freshly graduated business consultant. One who, without …

by ProudlyAfilliated on Durham Artists Movement Is a Safe Space and a Strong Voice for Artists Who Need It Most (Arts Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation