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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  House Haunters New Release

Comedy by Craig Sodaro

44 pages

Minimum 2 m, 7 w; maximum 3 m, 12 w, 1 flexible


Getting old feels like the end … especially for Margo. She’s worked hard to build her career and her life with husband Lars. But her 30th birthday isn’t what she planned. Already late to her own party, she and Lars quickly eat the last of the food before greeting guests. In hindsight, the crab salad may have been a little off … Apparently WAY off! Now they must start over in the after-life. But before they can rest in peace they must find a house and help the occupants. With the help of a celestial guide, they view three houses. There’s the far-out beach bung...

  Trial of the Wicked Witch

Comedy by Craig Sodaro

57 pages

8 m, 12 w, 1 flex


The Wicked Witch has finally been caught and hauled into the Court of Once Upon a Time to stand trial. She's accused of casting a spell on Sleeping Beauty, attempting to poison Snow White, kidnapping Rapunzel, and trying to eat Hansel. Red Riding Hood heads up the prosecution with the Evil Stepmother of Cinderella fame serving as the defense attorney. The Three Little Pigs act as bailiffs, while Jack the Giant Killer is the guard. The judge? None other than the Fairy Godmother. The Wicked Witch's alleged victims are witnesses for the prosecution, along with t...

  Trial of the Wicked Witch: The Musical

Musical by Craig Sodaro Stephen Murray

68 pages

8 m, 12 w, 1 flexible


The Wicked Witch is on trial for her crimes in the land of Once Upon a Time in this madcap musical featuring several favorite characters from many fairy tales. The cast of characters includes the Fairy Godmother as the judge, the Three Little Pigs as bailiffs, and Jack the Giant Killer as the guard. Witnesses for the prosecution and defense provide a variety of toe-tapping tunes such as a swinging Big Bad Wolf in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” an operatic Rapunzel in “I Love to Sing,” and a rocking Gingerbread Man in “Go, Gingie, Go!” The Wicked Witch herself cas...

  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...

  Til Death Do Us Part

Comedy Mystery by Craig Sodaro

67 pages

5 m, 11 w


You are invited to the most offbeat wedding of the season, where murder takes center stage and all the guests are suspects. Neither the groom's parents nor the bride's former boyfriend want the marriage to happen. The family lawyer has a little something up his sleeve and it might involve an enigmatic guest who dies mysteriously before revealing who she really is. When the lawyer is also murdered, amateur sleuth Miss Peabody conducts an investigation punctuated by the traditional wedding events in which the audience can also participate, such as throwing the ...

  Phantom of the Soap Opera

Comedy Mystery by Craig Sodaro

64 pages

8 m, 9 w, extras


A mysterious phantom, who inhabits the depths of a TV studio, creates murder and mayhem to seize a beautiful soap opera heroine, for whom he has an obsessive love! Laid-back police detective Digby Wright does little to allay the fears of the troupers, somewhat of a shaky group to begin with! There's Daphne Davis, a haughty actress whose career is moving fast --downhill; Quentin Harris, a former football hero who drops the ball when it comes to his lines; Lily Ponds, a scatterbrained secretary who can't remember the director's name; Addison Meriwether, the upt...

  Lethal Lecture

Comedy Mystery by Craig Sodaro

41 pages

2 m, 4 w


Every time Polly Peabody's in charge of something, it's murder - literally! In this hour-long play, she's program chairperson for Professor Hazelton Crandall's presentation, "Journey Through the Pharaoh's Tomb." Unfortunately, the poor professor needs his own tomb before Act I ends, because he's murdered. Miss Peabody narrows the suspects to four: the professor's estranged wife, who wants to sell the artifacts; the professor's vivacious, if vacuous, girlfriend; his longtime colleague and friend; and a reporter who'd do anything to get a story and keep his job...

  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...

  The Beating Heart

Mystery Thriller by Craig Sodaro

62 pages

3 m, 11 w, doubling possible


Ivy McEwin, a college history major, is so intrigued by a photograph of a young woman who lived during the Civil War that she travels to the woman's home, Ravensgate, an old Southern plantation. Ivy hopes to unlock the secrets of the woman's life, but instead meets the woman in death. The current owners, who are trying to restore the house into a bed and breakfast, have already noticed a number of strange things going on: the mournful sounds of a woman weeping at night; the frequent, unrelenting beating of a heart, and the rocking of an empty chair. As ghosts...

  Shop Til You Drop - Dead!

Comedy Mystery by Craig Sodaro

49 pages

2 m, 4 w


The hit TV game show "Stop, Shop, and Bankroll" has come to your town to tape a few segments, bringing its dashing host, Benny Sharpe, and the lovely hostess, Loreli Lawless. As usual, the director is worried about her temperamental stars, but between Loreli's new feather dress and Benny's vanity, trouble is guaranteed. Contestants from the audience participate in the shopping part of the game, until Benny cashes in his chips - poisoned by person or persons unknown! Miss Peabody, the cookies-and-cream librarian who's no stranger to murder, attempts to keep or...

  The Poisoned Pen

Farce by Craig Sodaro

61 pages

4 m, 10 w


When movie mogul Mandrake Masterfiend, producer of the schlockiest horror movies in history, invites some of Hollywood's craziest characters to his birthday party, the evening's a killer--literally. That's because he also invites Rona LaMona, the most vicious gossip columnist in the business who writes weekly under the title "The Poisoned Pen," to stir up the pot a bit. Though the actors, designers, and directors of some of Masterfiend's greatest successes enthusiastically reenact some great scenes from his movies, they suddenly find themselves playing suspec...

  It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Mystery by Craig Sodaro

63 pages

7 m, 11 w


Not many people like Sam Slaughter, the world's most successful but most reclusive mystery writer. He's just fired the aging star of his radio mystery show, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," and he's two-timing another star with a brainless showgirl. He's also yelled at his butler, his agent, and the show's producer. To make matters worse, a woman from his past shows up with some incriminating evidence. But before Sam can pay off the blackmail she demands, he is kidnapped and shots are fired in the night. It all happens at his isolated mansion where the radio...