Other Literary Forms
Although known primarily as a playwright, Ed Bullins has also worked in forms ranging from fiction and the essay to the “revolutionary television commercial.” His novel The Reluctant Rapist (1973) focuses on the early experience of Steve Benson, a semiautobiographical character who appears in several plays, including In New England Winter, The Duplex, and The Fabulous Miss Marie. The Hungered Ones: Early Writings (1971), a collection of Bullins’s early stories and essays, some of which are loosely autobiographical, provides an overview of his early perspective. Active as an editor and a theorist throughout his career, Bullins has written introductions to anthologies such as The New Lafayette Theater Presents (1974) and New Plays from the Black Theatre (1969). Along with the introduction to his own collection The Theme Is Blackness, these introductions provide a powerful and influential theoretical statement on the aesthetics and politics of the African American theater during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The Theme Is Blackness also contains scripts for “rituals” and mixed-media productions, including “Black Revolutionary Commercials,” which reflect the concern with electronic media visible in many of his later plays.