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Ed Bullins Biography

(1935– ), Black Theatre, The Duplex: A Love Fable in Four Movements, The Wine Time

American playwright, born in Philadelphia, educated at Los Angeles City College and San Francisco State College. He was associate director of New Lafayette Theatre, New York (196773), editor of Black Theatre magazine (196974), and became producing director of Surviving Theatre, New York, from 1974. His plays are explorations of the constraints of ghetto life, and strategies of liberation, among African-Americans. One of his best plays, The Duplex: A Love Fable in Four Movements (prod. New York, 1970, pub. 1971), focuses on a young man, Steven Benson, who struggles to forge his own identity and liberate his energies, though threatened by the temptations of sexual and alcoholic oblivion. The Wine Time (prod. New York, 1968, pub. 1969) is the first of a projected twenty-play cycle about African-Americans entitled 20th. Century Cycle. Omnibus editions of his many plays include Five Plays (1969), Four Dynamite Plays (1971), and The Theme is Blackness (1973). The latter contains the title play (prod. San Francisco, 1966); Dialect Determinism (prod. San Francisco, 1965), which argues against dogmatic militancy; and a few others, including very short but highly ingenious ‘black revolutionary’ commercials. Other books include The Hungered One (1971; short stories), To Raise the Dead and Foretell the Future (1971; verse), and The Reluctant Rapist (1973; a novel). Bullins was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle award in 1975 and 1977.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Bridgnorth Shropshire to Anthony Burgess [John Anthony Burgess Wilson Burgess] Biography