"The awful thing is that whenever I talk about it, it seems so gloomy," says Cravens. "Like the kind of thing you decide to do when you find the Holocaust Museum too festive." But, he adds, "There are some bona fide laughs. There have to be." Well, hey, ER is funny, too.
Written during the turbulence of the Terri Schiavo case, Wondergirl is more heavily influenced by end-of-life issues than the mystery of birth. But his characters aren't just his parrots or a personal soap box. "I'd always heard from other playwrights about the characters taking over, and I just assumed that was a bit of art crap," he says with a laugh. "Then there were times I'd be writing and I'd just say 'Oh no! This is what she's gonna do.' Once you have an idea of who they are, they have their own sort of trajectory." 8 p.m. today; Wondergirl runs through February 19. For tickets and showtimes, call 713-524-6706 or visit www.mainstreettheater.com. $20 to $35.