Craig Sodaro

Craig Sodaro is one of Eldridge Publishing's most popular and prolific playwrights with over 60 titles currently in print. Most of his work is ideal for children's theatre and school performances, and several plays have been turned into musicals. His audience participation plays are extremely well received. For community theatre plays he writes under the pen name of Sam Craig. Mr. Sodaro taught for 33 years in public schools, but now writes full time. He and his wife Sue have four grown daughters. Here he speaks in his own words about his love of writing. "I always wanted to write. From the first time I read my first full-fledged book - a long-forgotten mystery - I wanted to be an author. I've always had an imagination that runs overtime. My mind has always been more interested in the possibilities of what if two times two equaled five rather than four. "I grew up in Chicago, but I don't think the Midwest has had a great deal of influence on my writing. I was fortunate enough to travel as a youngster, and the places we visited - the West, East, and South, all seemed steeped in atmosphere and dramatic possibilities. Eventually, I traveled to Alaska, Europe, and Africa, and each experience planted seeds for future stories. "I wrote my first play in high school - an anti-administration absurdist comedy performed in my last period art class. Our teacher turned a deaf ear to the proceedings, but we all caught her laughing. I liked this idea of audience response, and during college, I entered a playwriting contest. I won the fifty dollar prize and saw my characters come to life under the blue, red, and amber stage lights. I knew that this was the direction my writing obsession would have to take. "Success on stage would have to wait for a number of years, however, since I married, began teaching, and had four children and received many, many rejections slips. Eventually I found a formula that worked: large cast mystery with mainly female parts, one setting, and a lot of one-liners. Since then, I've written a hundred and thirty plays, many of which have been published and/or produced. I've had the thrill of walking down 54th Street in New York to a flag-adorned theater where one of my plays premiered. I've received terrific letters from kids who have had parts in the plays I've written, and I've found myself in Amazon.com. "Once in a while people ask me how I write so fast. I guess it’s that I have a lot of stories to tell. And idea will grab me, and then for quite some time—even while working on another script—I’ll keep thinking about the characters and develop the major plot points in my imagination. Once I sit down to the computer to write, the characters really tell the story almost too quickly for me to write down what they’re saying. And that's what I think playwriting is all about. It's telling a story in the simplest but most dramatic way possible. There's a ninety minute or so limit on reaching the climax, and for literature that's quick. I write fast simply so I can find out what's going to happen at the end, just like anybody who watches the play."
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  Just Desserts

Comedy Dinner Mystery by Craig Sodaro

41 pages

1 m, 4 w


Judge Reginald P. Cogsworth, a curmudgeon who hates sweets, is judging a charity bakeoff, albeit grudgingly. Countless entries have been whittled down to three: a tart submitted by Lucy "Scooter" Bright, owner of a nail salon; a Depression-era style cake by Edna Mae Carter, the local librarian; and a rich torte created by Margaret Mason, a local society lady. In the middle of tasting all the goodies, the judge falls dead, and it's up to Miss Peabody, the head of the contest, and the audience to determine the murderer. There are clues in the theatre, some hidd...

  A Christmas Carol - Sodaro/Keys

Christmas Classic Holiday Musical by Craig Sodaro

53 pages

Flexible cast up to 42


Here is a holiday treasure with a beautiful variety of music, from the cheery "A Fifteen Shilling Christmas," and "The Fezziwig Ball," to the dramatic "Link by Link," and "Make Each Day Count." There's also the bright song, "The Spirit of Christmas," and the unforgettable closing number, "God Bless Us, Everyone." The story stays close to Dickens' original novel in dialogue, but adds additional speaking roles for great casting flexibility. Along with the hard-hearted Scrooge, the Christmas Spirits, the Cratchit family and the beloved Tiny Tim, there are carole...

  Nun of Your Business

Comedy by Craig Sodaro

64 pages

5 m, 14 w, 1 flexible part


If you're ready for some hard-nosed action, spying, deceit involving a stolen painting, a shady real estate deal, and an auto repair shop that's more a chop shop, stop in at the convent of St. Fermilda. The Sisters of Faith, Hope, and Charity are in the midst of all kinds of intrigue and they're not even sure how they got there! But don't think because they took vows of reverence and poverty that they'll let some hard-nosed hoods get the best of them. After all, the Sisters have work to do for the poor in this rundown neighborhood, and they're bound and deter...

  Bless This Bread

Audience Participation by Craig Sodaro

48 pages

2 m, 6 w


Here's the perfect play to use as a fund-raiser, an audience-participation mystery, or entertainment for your own special dinner event. Rev. Longacre is gathering a small group of church members at a potluck dinner to broach the subject of starting a building fund. Duty-bound Hazel arrives first to set up everything and tell the Reverend she hasn't yet found out who's been sending him anonymous love letters. Jenny, a local politician, and Cornelia, a local poet, arrive next, followed by Annie, the church secretary who is hiding something under her coat, and i...

  Cricket on the Hearth

Drama by Craig Sodaro

59 pages

14 m, 13 w, much doubling possible


It's the 1880s and Dot Dallrimple and her friend May Fielding are Christmas shopping. A miserly store owner, Mr. Tackleton, has eyes for May and has her fiance Edward kidnapped and sent off to sea, never to return to England. Ten years pass with no word from Edward. Poor May has remained single, even though Tackleton has continued to court her. Meanwhile, Dot has married John Peerybingle and his delivery business has prospered. Two days before Christmas he brings home a ragged, mute stranger. In one awkward moment, John see his wife throw her arms around the ...

  Rose in the Courtyard

Adult Easter by Craig Sodaro

24 pages

3 m, 3 w


On the eve of his appointment as a Roman governor, Flavius faces a tragic dilemma. His daughter, Gena, professes she is a Christian during one of the great persecutions. Flavius' wife, driven by ambition, wants nothing to block his appointment - even if that means her husband must sentence her step-daughter to death. Flavius is torn between his desire to uphold the law, his love for his daughter, and an inner light that seems to be guiding him contrary to all that he believes. The impact of the play comes from a rosebush. Cruelly clipped of all its beautiful ...