BY ED BULLINS
Compiled and edited by Dr. Ethel Pitts
Foreword by Woodie King, Jr.
ISBN-0-918270-21-9, Hardbound, 337
Library of Congress Number 93-61538, $23.95
Three Obie Awards, four Rockefeller Playwright Grants, a National Endowment for the Arts Playwright Grant, A Creative Arts Program Award and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play, places Ed Bullins among American's great playwrights. This Anthology presents some of his work with historic and mythical characters. Only two of these plays were published, and some were "lost" after their productions closed. Dr. Walker worked diligently to assure these plays remain available for history, research, and performance. High John Da Conqueror - The Musical is currently touring nationally.
I AM LUCY TERRY...
HIGH JOHN DA CONQUEROR - The Musical
THE MYSTERY OF PHYLLIS WHEATLEY
SALAAM, HUEY NEWTON, SALAAM
The purpose of this book is to highlight one of the giants of the 60's theatrical movement. Ed Bullins gained a reputation as a master poet playwright in the same vein as Tennessee Williams. Both captured the music and speech of their respective communities and presented them with rawness and honesty. Both dealt truthfully with characters who exist vividly in the world around us, yet are rarely seen by traditional theatre audiences.
The plays collected in this anthology represent some new and old scripts, highlighting the diversity of styles and topics which reflect the African American culture and experience.
Female readers will be surprised by these works; women characters are generally
intelligent and strong-willed, with a sense of dignity and pride. Most of the plays lack the preponderance of graphic violence and sexual images found in Bullins' earlier works, although Jo Anne! is as raw as any the playwright has written. All of the plays have been produced to mixed reviews by various theatres across the country including New York's Ensemble Theatre, The American Place Theatre, The Henry Street Settlement House, San Francisco's Magic Theatre, the African American Drama Company of California and the Julian Theatre. The one certainty is that these plays testify to the creative talents of Ed Bullins, albeit somewhat tamer. His trademark of descriptive imagery and musical language as well as insightful and explosive characters continues to permeate the scripts, and more importantly, these scripts provide further evidence of the playwright's versatility.
The editor, Ethel Pitts Walker, Ph.D. is Professor of Theatre Arts at San Jose State University and founding past President of the Black Theatre Network.
As we near the new century, an anthology of plays by Ed Bullins on mainly historical characters, edited by Dr. Ethel Pitts Walker, gives the black theatre much needed new work. His work has always been integral to the black theatre movement. Bullins has given the black theatre anthologies, criticism, and scholarship, exploring its theories, its practices, and its esthetics.
I am reminded of the vast body
of work by Bullins; and again with this new anthology on
historical people, including Phyllis Wheatley, Lucy Terry, Adam
Clayton Powell (City Preacher,) Huey P. Newton, etc., I would
warn any new playwright, you must come by Bullins!
-- Woodie King, Jr.
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A highly recommenced Web site link is The African American Drama Company
Famous for decades of traveling Black History Month presentations, A.A.D.C. is American's most extensively toured fine arts organization. It's mission, encouraging community involvement and awareness of African American accomplishments. Classes and workshops are free with this theater's plays. The above site contains the company's history and information on programs, tour schedules and reviews
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