Craig was in 1872 on Railway Street, Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, England, and baptised at age 16 as Edward Henry Gordon. He took the surname Craig by deed poll at age 21.
Craig spent much of his childhood (from the age of 8 in 1889 to 1897) backstage at the Lyceum Theatre, where his mother was the leading lady to actor Sir Henry Irving. Craig later wrote a vivid, book-length tribute to Irving.
Craig lived in straitened circumstances in France for much of his life and was interned by German Occupation forces in 1942. He died at Vance, France, in 1966, aged 94.
Craig's idea of using neutral, mobile, non-representational screens as a staging device is probably his most famous stenographic concept.
In 1910 Craig filed a patent which described in considerable technical detail a system of hinged and fixed flats that could be quickly arranged to cater for both internal and external scenes. He presented a set to William Butler Yeats for use at the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, who shared his symbolist aesthetic.
Craig’s second innovation was in stage lighting. Doing away with traditional footlights, Craig lit the stage from above, placing lights in the ceiling of the theatre. Colour and light also became central to Craig’s stage conceptualizations.
Aside from his difficulties with personality conflicts (Craig was known as an eccentric),