Rochelle Owens was born Rochelle Bass, daughter of Maxwell and Molly (Adler) Bass. Reared in Brooklyn, Owens was educated in New York City public schools and was graduated from Lafayette High School in 1953. She was married to David Owens in 1956 and divorced in 1959. She began writing poetry early. When George Economou saw “Groshl Monkeys Horses” in a 1960 issue of Yugen, he invited her to submit some of her poems to Trobar, which he had just begun editing with Robert Kelly. She sent him a packet of verse, many of the poems appearing in Trobar (II), including “Humble humble pinati.” Trobar Press also brought out her first book of poems, Not Be Essence That Cannot Be (1961), simultaneously with Paul Blackburn’s The Nets. In 1962, Owens and Economou were married, and many of her books subsequently have been dedicated to her husband, a poet in his own right, who has also appeared in some of her plays (he played the Robed Man, for example, in Istanboul).
Although written several years earlier, Futz was first produced by the Tyrone Guthrie Workshop in Minneapolis on October 10, 1965, where it played for a single performance. Later revised, it was produced in New York by the Café La Mama Theatre Troupe on March 1, 1967. During this period, several other plays were produced in New York and elsewhere. On February 12, 1965, the Judson Poets Theatre produced The String Game, and on September 12, Istanboul. Andre Gregory produced Beclch at the Theatre of the Living Arts with the Southwark Theatre Company in Philadelphia on December 20, 1966. The controversial production was at least in part responsible for the termination of relations...
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