Rochelle Owens

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Rochelle Owens

Rochelle Bass Owens (born April 2, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American poet and playwright.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Owens is the daughter of Maxwell and Molly (Adler) Bass. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, then studied at the New School for Social Research and the University of Montreal.

After a brief marriage to David Owens, she married the poet George Economou on June 17, 1962.[2] Owens has taught at Brown University, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana.[3] As of 2018, Owens lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and Philadelphia.[4] Her biography is published in Gale Research Contemporary Authors, Volume 2 (1983). In 2006, she was celebrated in La MaMa's Coffeehouse Chronicles series.[5][6]

Theatre[edit]

She was highly involved in the early off-off-Broadway theatre movement. As a poet, she contributed greatly to the St. Marks Poetry Project and was a founding participant in Mickey Ruskin and Bill Mackey's Cafe Deux Megots on 7th Street in the East Village. Owens was also involved in the ethnopoetics movement. Her work has influenced experimental playwrights and poets in subsequent generations.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Owens' plays premiered in New York City at the Judson Poets Theatre, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Theater for the New City, and the American Place Theatre. She was a founding member of the New York Theater Strategy and the Women's Theater Council. Her play Futz was first published in 1961 and is foundational to the off-off-Broadway canon. It raised some controversy, and was banned in Toronto and called a "lust and bestiality play" by a newspaper in Edinburgh. Futz was made into a film in 1969. The cast includes Sally Kirkland and Frederic Forrest.[7][8]

Owens' plays have been performed in theatre festivals in Edinburgh, Avignon, Paris, and Berlin.[9]

Poetry[edit]

Owens at the age of 19 had her poetry published in Le Roi Jones' (as Amiri Baraka was known then) and Hettie Jones’ magazine Yugen. Owens’ poems appear in the volume Jones edited in 1962 titled "Four Young Lady Poets". Owens may not refer to herself as a "Beat poet", but she was there and influential among the Beat poets and that movement in New York. She read her poems at The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church In-the-Bowery in New York City, on the same bill that included Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. Allen Ginsberg introduced her poetry to LeRoi Jones.[10]

Radio[edit]

In 1984, after relocating to Norman, Oklahoma, Owens hosted "The Writers Mind", a radio interview program from the University of Oklahoma with various artists.[11]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Selected works[edit]

Plays[edit]

  • The String Game, Judson Poets Theatre, New York City, 1965; published by Methuen: 1969
  • Futz, Tyrone Guthrie Workshop Theatre, Minneapolis, 1965; Cafe La Mama, New York City, 1967;[15][16] published by Hawk's Well Press: 1962, and Methuen: 1969
  • Homo, Cafe La Mama, 1966; Ambiance Theater, London, 1966; published by Hawk's Well Press: 1968
  • Istanboul. Hawk's Well Press. 1968. Judson Poets Theatre, 1968; Actors Playhouse, New York City, 1971
  • Beclch, Theatre for the Living Arts, Philadelphia; Gate Theatre, New York City, 1968; published by Hawk's Well Press: 1968
  • Futz and What Came After. Random House. 1968. produced in New York City, 1968
  • Queen of Greece, La Mama E.T.C., New York City, 1969;[17] published by Alexander Street Press: 2003
  • He Wants Shih, La MaMa, New York City, 1973;[18] published by Dutton: 1974
  • The Karl Marx Play and Others. Dutton. 1974. American Place Theatre, New York City, 1973
  • O.K. Certaldo, published by Dutton: 1974
  • Kontraption, published by Dutton: 1974; New York Theater Strategy, 1976
  • Coconut Folk-Singer, published by Dutton: 1974
  • Farmer's Almanac, published by Dutton: 1974
  • Emma Instigated Me, New York City, 1976; published in Performance Arts Journal: 1976
  • The Widow And The Colonel published in Best Short Plays 1977[19]
  • Who Do You Want, Piere Vidal?, Theatre for the New City, New York City, 1982
  • Chucky's Hunch, Theatre for the New City, 1981; Harold Clurman Theatre, New York City, 1982
  • Plays by Rochelle Owens: Chucky's Hunch, Futz, Kontraption, Three Front. Broadway Play Publishing Inc. 2000. ISBN 978-0-88145-172-6.
  • Mountain Rites, published by Alexander Street Press: 2003
  • Sweet Potatoes, published by Alexander Street Press: 2003

Screenplays[edit]

Poetry[edit]

  • Not Be Essence That Cannot Be. Trobar. 1961.
  • Salt and Core. Black Sparrow Press. 1968.
  • I Am the Babe of Joseph Stalin's Daughter: Poems, 1961-71. Kulchur Press. 1972.
  • Poems from Joe's Garage. Burning Deck Press. 1973.
  • The Joe Eighty-Two Creation Poems, Black Sparrow Press: 1974
  • The Joe Chronicles II, Black Sparrow Press, 1977[20]
  • Shemuel. New Rivers Press. 1979. ISBN 978-0-89823-006-2.
  • French Light. Press with the Flexible Voice. 1984.
  • Constructs. Poetry Around. 1985.
  • Anthropologists at a Dinner Party. Chax Press. 1985.
  • W.C. Fields In French Light, Contact 2 Press: 1986
  • How Much Paint Does The Painting Need, Kulchur Press 1988[21]
  • Black Chalk, Texture Press 1992[22]
  • Rubbed Stones and Other Poems, Texture Press: 1994
  • New And Selected Poems 1961-1996, Junction Press 1997[23]
  • Luca,Discourse On Life And Death, Junction Press: 2000
  • Triptych, Texture Press: 2006
  • Solitary Workwoman, Junction Press: 2011
  • Out of Ur - New & Selected Poems 1961 - 2012, Shearsman Books 2012[24]
  • Hermaphropoetics, Drifting Geometries, Singing Horse Press 2017[25]

Anthologies[edit]

Radio plays[edit]

Videos[edit]

  • Oklahoma Too, 1987
  • How much Paint Does The Painting Need, 1991
  • Black Chalk, 1994

Sound recordings[edit]

Translations (to English)[edit]

As editor[edit]

  • Spontaneous Combustion: Eight New American Plays, Winterhouse: 1972

Novels[edit]

  • Journey To Purity, Texture Press: 2009

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gabrielle H. Cody; Evert Sprinchorn, eds. (2007). The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. D. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14424-7.
  2. ^ Taylor & Francis Group (2004). International Who's Who in Poetry 2004. Europa. p. 250. ISBN 978-1-85743-178-0.
  3. ^ http://www.broadwayplaypubl.com/owensb.htm
  4. ^ Gabrielle H. Cody; Evert Sprinchorn, eds. (2007). The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. 2. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14424-7.
  5. ^ La MaMa's Coffeehouse Chronicles series
  6. ^ Gabrielle H. Cody; Evert Sprinchorn, eds. (2007). The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. 1. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14422-3.
  7. ^ [1] Futz! IMDB page
  8. ^ Friedman, Amy. "Rochelle Owens: Off Beat, Off-Off Broadway". Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the 'Howl’ Generation. edited by Deborah Geis. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781472567895
  9. ^ Gabrielle H. Cody; Evert Sprinchorn, eds. (2007). The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama: Volume 2. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14424-7.
  10. ^ Friedman, Amy. "Rochelle Owens: Off Beat, Off-Off Broadway". Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the 'Howl’ Generation. edited by Deborah Geis. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781472567895
  11. ^ Gabrielle H. Cody; Evert Sprinchorn, eds. (2007). The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. 2. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14424-7.
  12. ^ [2] Guggenheim Fellowship
  13. ^ Rockefeller Fellowship at Bellagio Center
  14. ^ Oklahoma Book Award finalist
  15. ^ La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Futz (1967a)". Accessed June 20, 2018.
  16. ^ La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Futz (1967b)". Accessed June 20, 2018.
  17. ^ La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Homo and The Queen of Greece (1969)". Accessed June 20, 2018.
  18. ^ La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: He Wants Shih! (1973)". Accessed June 20, 2018.
  19. ^ [3] Owens, Rochelle. The Widow And The Colonel, Best Short Plays (1977). Dramatists Play Service, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8222-1252-2
  20. ^ [4] Owens, Rochelle. The Joe Chronicles II. Black Sparrow Press (1977) ISBN 978-0-87685-296-5 David R. Godine, Publisher (1979 edition)
  21. ^ Kulchur Press 1988
  22. ^ Texture Press: 1992
  23. ^ Junction Press 1997
  24. ^ Shearsman Books: 2012
  25. ^ Singing Horse Press 2017
  26. ^ Broadside Records 1968
  27. ^ Kilmarnock 1974
  28. ^ Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives 1987

External links[edit]