24 Jan 2024

Chris Kraus' life brought to the stage by Eleanor Bishop and Karin McCracken

From Nine To Noon, 10:05 am on 24 January 2024

It wasn't until New Zealand playwright Eleanor Bishop was on the New York Broadway scene that she heard about Chris Kraus.

Kraus - born in New York - grew up in New Zealand, studied at Victoria University and worked as a journalist at The Evening Post. But she found prominence in New York with her art and cultural commentary books I Love Dick and Aliens & Anorexia.

It's the latter book - an autobiographical fiction of her life - which has just been converted to stage production by Eleanor and fellow playwright and friend Karin McCracken.

The play is called Gravity & Grace - named after a film Kraus herself made in New Zealand in the 90s. Kraus refers to it as an epic failure. Karin plays Kraus in the play and Eleanor is the director.

The duo won the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award in 2022 - the first time in its 40-year history it was given to a partnership. They have created several shows together and cover topics like healthy relationships, consent, erotic fiction, scientific research and the language of old Hollywood. 

Gravity & Grace will be on in Wellington at the beginning of March as part of the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Karin McCracken as Chris Kraus in her and Eleanor Bishop's play Gravity & Grace.

Photo: Nick George