Although he has worked in many areas—as a playwright, television writer, screenwriter, theater director, short-story writer, essayist, poet, and lecturer—Charles Fuller is perhaps acclaimed most as a playwright. Fuller wrote and produced his first play, The Village: A Party, in 1968. His place in contemporary African American theater is marked by an impressive number of dramas, among them Zooman and the Sign, for which he received two Obie Awards for Best Play and Best Playwright in 1980, and A Soldier’s Play, written and produced in 1981, which received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play, the 1982 Pulitzer Prize in drama, and a Columbia Pictures motion-picture contract in 1984.
The first child of Charles Fuller, Sr., a printer, and Hillary Anderson Fuller, a child care provider, Fuller was raised in comfortable circumstances in North Philadelphia in an extended family of many foster children. He attended a Roman Catholic high school with friend Larry Neal and attended Villanova University from 1956 to 1958. After four years of service in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea, Fuller returned to complete his B.A. at LaSalle College from 1965 to 1968.
In the 1960’s, while in Philadelphia, Fuller began writing short stories, poetry, and essays at night after working various daytime jobs. His interest in literature, largely a result of having assumed the responsibility of proofreading his father’s print jobs, began early and served as the fertile source for the...
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