Plays by Rochelle Owens

Rochelle Owens
Book Item Icon $19.95
PDF ePlay Item Icon
Enter total users


This collection includes two full-length plays, KONTRAPTION and THREE FRONT, and two short plays, CHUCKY’S HUNCH and FUTZ. CHUCKY’S HUNCH: A disillusioned artist, who’s unemployed, a drunk, and has been reduced to living upstate with his aged mother and pets, unburdens himself in letters to the second of his three ex-wives. FUTZ: Farm boy Cyrus is in love with Amanda, a pig, in this parable of nonconformism. KONTRAPTION: Abdal, a black man, and Hortten, a white man, experience, create, and transform the reality of their lives in this play that explores cultural ideals, myths, and sensibilities. THREE FRONT: A play about people living at the extremes of experience, their stories conveyed as much by imagery and sound as by plot.

Plays in This Collection

Categories: ,

Press Quotes

“Rochelle Owens’s risk-taking is more radical in certain respects than Beckett or Shepard.” —C W E Bigsby, Modern American Drama

“The genius of Owens’s work lies not in ideological commitments but in her access to the subconscious. One of our most courageous and insightful artists … and perhaps the most profound tragic playwright in the American theater.” —Village Voice


“CHUCKY’S HUNCH, Rochelle Owens’s monodrama about an untamed abstract painter and his perplexing relations with America in the shape of his ex-wife and mother, is a triumph of sustained verbal fireworks! Not to be missed!” —Village Voice

“The character of Chucky reaches truly heroic proportions. A penetrating chain letter from the heart. A wonderful mixture of anger, madness, regret and self-incriminating introspection. Attention must be paid. A rare and daring dramatic imagination.” —The New York Times

“A funny wonderful play. Rochelle Owens’s comic flame has never burnt so bright, but like the eye of the tiger, it is savage!” —New York Post


“FUTZ is one of the most original and uninhibited pieces of dramatic poetry ever written. No one seriously interested in theatre arts will want to miss it.” —Saturday Review


“In the world of KONTRAPTION Rochelle Owens has devised a language of high intensity and eroticism to express the extremes of human existence. The characters are conjurers of words as well as visions — and the Word is made Flesh!” —American Playwrights


THREE FRONT, by one of the most inventive experimental playwrights in America, is tremendously alive, rich in writing and theatricality.” —Europe Plurilingue

About the Author


  • Rochelle Owens

    Rochelle Owens is the daughter of Maxwell and Molly (Adler) Bass. A native New Yorker, Owens studied at the New School for Social Research (now The New School) and University of Montreal. After a brief marriage to David Owens, she married poet George Economou on June 17, 1962. She has taught at Brown University, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). A pioneer in the experimental Off-Broadway Theatre movement and also influential to the poetry at St. Marks Poetry Project and Deux Megots as a founding participant as well as being involved in the ethnopoetics movement, Owens is widely known as one of the most innovative and controversial writers of this century, whose ground-breaking work has influenced subsequent experimental playwrights and poets. Since its first publication in 1961, her play FUTZ has become a classic of the American avant-garde and an international success. Toronto banned it, an Edinburgh paper dubbed it "lust and bestiality play" but New Yorkers queued around the block when it was first produced in the sixties. In 1969, it was made into a film, which has attained a cult following. Her plays have been presented worldwide and in festivals in Edinburgh, Avignon, Paris and Berlin. Owens' important literary contribution has been the subject of a wide range of scholarship. During the 1960s and 70s Owens' plays premiered in New York City at The Judson Poets Theatre, LaMama ETC., Theatre 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. In 1984 after relocating to Norman, Oklahoma, she hosted The Writers Mind a radio interview program from The University of Oklahoma featuring creative artists. She currently lives in Philadelphia, PA, and Wellfleet, MA. In 2006 she was celebrated for her achievements at LaMama Theatre in New York in its series, Coffeehouse Chronicles. Her autobiography is published in Contemporary Authors, Volume 2; Gale Research, 1983. Owens has lectured and read widely in the United States and abroad and has been a participant at the Franco-Anglais Festival de Poesie, Paris. A member of ASCAP, New Dramatists Alumni, and The Dramatists Guild, her poetry and plays have appeared in many journals and magazines including Upstairs At Duroc, Simbolica, Scripts, Yale Theatre, 'Yugen, Plumed Horn, Nomad, Midwest, Floating World, Exile, Sulfur, Partisan Review, Trobar, First Intensity, Golden Handcuffs, Mandorla, Another Chicago Review, Temblor, The Iowa Review and the online publication Her controversial poem "Chomsky Grilling Linguica" has been nominated for two Online Awards for Best Poetry.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 6/1/2000
Pages 150
ISBN 9780881451726