Craig, Henry Edward Gordon

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Craig, Henry Edward Gordon


Born Jan. 16, 1872, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire; died July 29, 1966, in Vence, France. English director, scene designer, and theoretician of the theater. Son of the actress Ellen Terry.

Craig made his acting debut in 1889. He designed and directed productions of Ibsen's The Vikings at Helgeland (London) and Rosmersholm (Florence) and Shakespeare's Hamlet (1911, Moscow; with K. S. Stanislavsky and L. A. Sulerzhitskii) and Macbeth (New York; with D. Ross). Craig expounded his theories in his books and in the magazines he published. He protested against the mediocrity of the modern English theater and the venality of producers. He attacked both philistine ostentation and naturalism in the theater, but he sought answers in a flight from reality into the world of “pure art.” Craig's work, intellectually related to literary and artistic symbolism, affirmed the principles of a conventional, symbolic theater. He repudiated decorative flat painting, preferring abstract architectural forms. His theory of an “ideal” actor proposed replacing the actor with a “superpuppet.” In 1935, Craig visited the USSR.


Towards a New Theatre. London-Toronto, 1913.
The Theatre Advancing. London, 1921.
Henry Irving. London, 1930.
Ellen Terry… . London [1931].
On the Art of the Theatre [6th ed.]. London [1962].
In Russian translation: Iskusstvo teatra. [St. Petersburg, 1912.]


Stanislavsky, K. S. Moia zhizn' v iskusstve. Soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1954.
Chushkin, N. N. Gamlet—Kachalov. Moscow, 1966.
Bablet, D. Edward G. Craig. [Paris, 1962.]
Fletcher, I., and A. Rood. Edward G. Craig: A Bibliography. London, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.