The Life and times of Edward Gordon Craig

Key:

Design

Directing

Personal

Publications

1883

1883-1886 Southfield Park School, Tunbridge Wells

1884

Visits United States on tour with Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. Makes first speaking appearance on stage in Eugene Aram

1886

Bradfield College.

1887

Heidelberg College, Heidelberg.

1888

Southfield Park School, Tunbridge Wells, as a private student.

1889

Joins Henry Irving’s company in London as an actor

1891

“my first style” – draws design for a stage setting of Friar Lawrence’s Cell, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1893

Begins to take an interest in the art of woodcutting

1893

Marries May Gibson

They go on to have four children: Rosemary, Robert, Philip, Peter

1897

Starts making woodcuts and producing and selling prints

1898

Publishes The Page magazine

1899

Begins an affair with Jess Dorynne

They go on to have one daughter, Kitty

1899

Publishes Gordon Craig’s Book of Penny Toys

Publishes book of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving lithographs

1900

Between 1900 and 1903 Craig designed his productions of The Masque of Love, Acis and Galatea and Bethlehem in London

1900

He directs Dido and Aeneas in London, with Martin Shaw as musical director

1900

Meets Elena Meo in London

They go on to have three children: Ellen, Nellie and Edward (Teddy)

1900

Publishes a booklet, Bookplates

1901

Dido and Aeneas is staged again

Directs The Masque of Love at the Coronet Theatre, London

1901

Stops publishing The Page

1902

Directs Acis and Galatea at the Great Queen St. Theatre, London.

Directs Bethlehem at the Imperial Institute, London

1903

Designs Act 1 Scene 1 and the last scene for For Sword and Song at Shaftesbury Theatre, London

1903

Directs The Vikings in London

Directs Much Ado About Nothing in London

1904

Designs scenes for Venice Preserved for the Lessing Theatre in the Weimar Republic (Germany)

1904

Leaves for Berlin, Lessing Theater.

Meets Isadora Duncan (1827–1927) and together they have a child in 1906: Deirdre

1905

Designs and cuts five scenes for The White Fan for the Lessing Theatre in the Weimar Republic

Venice Preserved is produced in Berlin

1905

Publishes On the Art of the Theatre

This book was first published in German and then in English, Dutch, Russian

Republished throughout his life

1906

Directs Rosmersholm at the Pergola Theatre in Florence

1906

Publishes Isadora Duncan designs/drawings Six Movement Designs

Publishes A Note on Rosmersholm

1907

Craig conceives of the Über Marionette

Craig creates his first Black Figures and model theatre

Between 1907 and 1909 he has an intense period of creating woodcuts

1908

Agrees to direct Hamlet at the Moscow Arts Theatre

Spends the years 1908-1912 doing preparatory work for Hamlet and takes several trips to Moscow

1908

Secures the lease on the Arena Goldoni, Florence, which he uses as a workshop/studio. Find the arena Goldoni

Begins his visits to Moscow which continue on and off until after Hamlet in 1913. Ellen Terry Archive

1908

Publishes The Mask Volume 1 – the first international theatre journal

The Mask is published continually in some fashion until 1929

Publishes the essays The Actor and the Über Marionette and The Artists of the Theatre of the Future

Publishes A Portfolio of Etchings

1910

Designs four shows for WB Yeats at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin: Plays for an Irish Theatre, Deirdre, The Hour Glass, and On Baile’s Strand

Makes some thirty to forty sketches for the Moscow production of Hamlet

Craig designs a set of Screens for the Abbey Theatre, Dublin

Craig applies for a patent for ‘Improvements in Stage Scenery’

1911

January: Abbey Theatre implements the above designs in their theatre season and use Craig’s Screens for the first time

September: an Exhibition of Craig’s woodcuts for Macbeth along with some of his other projects happens at the Leicester Galleries

Craig is giving daily showings of his large model stage and the principles of the Screens in London

1913

Craig is at the Arena Goldoni in Florence experimenting with making and working with marionettes

1913

Death of his daughter Deirdre (with Isadora Duncan) at the age of seven

He opens the School for the Art of the Theatre at the Arena Goldoni

He begins to explore marionette making and performance

1913

1914

Designs the model for St. Matthew Passion at the Arena Goldoni, Florence

1914

Arena Goldoni closes in August, the day after England declares war on Germany.

1916

Craig writes several marionette plays

1917

He moves to Rapallo near Genoa until 1925

His son, David Lees (with Dorothy Nevile Lees) born in September

1918

Publishes The Marionette Volume 1

There are twelve volumes of The Marionette published in total over this year

1919

Published The Theatre Advancing first in Boston

1920

Designs his famous woodcut for the storm scene in King Lear

1921

The Theatre Advancing is published in London

Puppets and Poets published in London

1922

Is instrumental in having the International Exhibition of Theatre Art and Craft transferred to the Victoria & Albert museum and then on to Manchester, Glasgow and Bradford (1922- 1923

1922

1923

Scene published featuring designs made 1907-1910

1924

Exhibition of his woodcuts in London with the King Lear storm scene model as a central part of the exhibit

1926

Goes to Denmark to direct Ibsen’s The Crown Pretenders for the Poulsen brothers in Copenhagen

1927

Exhibition of a large collection of Craig’s woodcuts in Amsterdam

1927

Goes to Weimar Republic where Count Kessler is printing a version of Hamlet for which he is providing woodcut illustrations.

1928

Exhibition in London of Craig’s designs for ‘The Pretenders’

Craig makes the designs for an American production of Macbeth

1929

Meets Daphne Woodward in London, she becomes his secretary and helps with the Henry Irving book

1929

Hamlet published by Cranach Press in the Weimar Republic (Germany) with woodcuts by Craig

The Mask stops being published

1930

Craig’s Hamlet designs shown at the Galerie Flechtheim in Berlin

1930

Publishes his book Henry Irving

The English edition of Hamlet with Craig’s woodcuts is published

The Crown Pretenders book of Craig’s designs from the 1926 production published

1931

Publishes Ellen Terry and Her Secret Self

1935

Craig has a daughter Daphne (‘Two Two’) with Daphne Woodward.

Moves to Paris

1938

Appointment to the distinction of Royal Designers for Industry

1944

Along with Charles Dullin, Jacques Copeau, Jouvet, Gaston Baty and Jacques Rouche, founds the French Syndicat National des Metteurs en Scène (National Union of Directors)

1948

Craig moves to the south of France finally settling in Vence in 1952

1951

Makes a series of recordings/talks for the BBC

1956

Craig is made a Companion of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the theatre.

1957

Publishes Index to the Story of My Days, Craig’s autobiography 1872-1907

1966

Craig dies at the age of 94 in Vence, France