Craig, Edith (1869–1947) By Cockin, Katharine M.
Edith (“Edy”) Craig, lesbian theater director and women’s suffrage activist, directed numerous plays and historical pageants, making significant contributions to the Little Theatre Movement in interwar Britain. After an unofficial apprenticeship as an actor and costumier with her mother Ellen Terry (1847–1928) and Henry Irving (1838–1905) at the Lyceum Theatre, she found her niche as a director. From 1908 she directed many women’s suffrage plays and several mass processions before founding the Pioneer Players theater society in London in 1911. Her productions were always staged in a visually striking manner, and made judicious use of costume and lighting.
Craig was born in Hertfordshire in 1869 to actress Ellen Terry and architect and designer Edward Godwin. Her brother Edward Gordon Craig (1872–1960) achieved international acclaim for his innovative ideas about scene design and the art of the theater. From 1899, Craig lived with Christabel Marshall (c. 1878–1966), known as Christopher St. John, the author and music critic. In 1916 Clare Atwood (1866–1962), known as Tony, joined Craig and St. John in a lifelong ménage à trois at 31 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, and at Priest’s House near Ellen Terry’s farm, Smallhythe Place, Tenterden, Kent.