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

Most Recent Comments

Great article , very well written which made the article more exciting …

by Linwood McNeill on You Are Here, NCMA’s Immersive Experience in Light and Sound, Tempers Wild Extravagance with Themes of Sacred, Shared Humanity (Arts Feature)

"In the eighties, Kevin Eastman set out for a modest career in underground comics, which is a reasonable goal when …

by Daniel Gregory on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cocreator Kevin Eastman Went for a Modest Underground Comics Career. He Started an Independent Pop-Culture Dynasty Instead. (Arts Feature)

Tim is an outstanding person all around!

by 3ZKL on Tim Walter’s Long Effort to Give Downtown Durham a Venue It Needed Pays Off in the Nick of Time (Arts Feature)

Can't wait to read what Ed Zareh thinks of the whole Aaron Glaser/UCB lawsuit. Wait -- yes I can.

by MavisDaily on The PIT Wants to Fill the Disgraced DSI Comedy Theater's Void. But Will It Just Replicate the Same Toxic Culture? (Arts Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation