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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  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 ...

  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...

  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...

  Hercules

Comedy by Craig Sodaro

59 pages

45 speaking parts (minimum 7 m, 14 w with doubling)


Modern language and loads of humor make this version of the Greek tale one that today's audience is sure to enjoy. Hercules' girlfriend, Megara, has been poisoned by a jealous Hera and now he must complete eight tasks for Hera or lose Megara's love forever. The problem is, Hercules is a bit of a wimp and it doesn't look as if he will be performing any great feats of strength much less act particularly clever. Yet, he humbles the cocky Stymphalian birds, gets the best of the shady Arcadian stag, resists the Erymanthian Bore, cleans up King Augeus' act and give...

  A Christmas Carol (Sodaro-Play)

Classic by Craig Sodaro

41 pages

Flexible cast up to 42


Here's an hour-long adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novel that's as practical as it is entertaining. While staying close to the original novel in dialogue, this version adds additional speaking roles. Along with the hard-hearted Scrooge, the Christmas Spirits, the Cratchit family and the beloved Tiny Tim, there are carolers, goblins, and guests as well as two storytellers, Mrs. Candlewick and Mrs. Peartree, who help keep the action flowing. Because the cast is so flexible, you can combine roles for a small cast or expand it into an all-grade performance. C...

  The Nifty-Fifites Malt Shop Murder

Comedy by Craig Sodaro

65 pages

6 m, 14 w


A quintessential 1950s mom, June Seevers, and her committee are working hard to win the "Small Town USA" title and a cash prize for their town of Sunnydale. The judges are due in two days to verify that it is, indeed, an All-American, apple pie-eating, crime-free hamlet. Did we say crime free? Then what about the mysterious customer at the Malt Shop who falls over dead during the committee's final meeting? It looks like he was poisoned, and the victim's sister may be a committee member! But who? With the help of her family, the prissy librarian, and even the ...

  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...

  Aladdin

Classic by Craig Sodaro

59 pages

Approx. 37 parts, doubling possible


Romance, mystery, and more fun than a magic carpet ride - that's what makes this richly imaginative version of the story of Aladdin such a winner. You'll love all the colorful characters, including Yahoo and his pet snake, who serve as narrators; the evil magician, El Kahsid; the beautiful Princess Celestia; the spoiled, obnoxious Gorgan, who wants to marry the Princess; the lamp and ring Genies and their "wish-granting associates"; the poetic cave creeps; and finally Aladdin himself, who starts out as a lazy, insolent boy but proves himself to be a prince. T...

  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...

  Tapestry

Drama Fairy Tale by Craig Sodaro

76 pages

11 m, 22 w, 2 flexible. (Minimum cast 2 m, 5 w, 2 flexible.)


A King, grieving over the death of his son, demands that a weaver create a tapestry that will provide comfort. The woman weaves six tales into her tapestry. The first tells the story of young woman who must learn about herself. The second concerns two farmers who have a chance at a tremendous fortune, but it may cost them everything. Other tales teach more lessons. Finally the Woman weaves the story of Tatiana, a mother who loses her daughter and almost succumbs to her own grief. Upon completion of the tapestry, the King must decide whether he has found conso...

  Phantom of the Soap Opera (Musical)

Musical by Craig Sodaro

73 pages

8 m, 9 w, extras


Bring the mysterious Phantom to your stage in this Broadway-quality musical with eight original songs. A Phantom, who inhabits the depths of a TV studio, creates murder and mayhem when he seizes a beautiful soap opera heroine, for whom he has an obsessive love. The cast and crew, including a haughty, aging actress, a scatterbrained secretary, an uptight director, a long-suffering writer, a leading man who is a star on a rival soap, and others are thrown into chaos. A laid-back police detective decides he'll trap the Phantom at a masquerade ball! Lighthearted ...