Victor Bumbalo is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced worldwide. He graduated from the Masters Program in Theater at Bennington College. Coming to New York City, Bumbalo became immersed in the Off- and Off-Off Broadway theater scene. He directed the American premiere of Mrozek’s The Enchanted Night and became the artistic director of the Soul and Latin Theater, one of the first successful street theaters. Their productions toured the streets of New York for four consecutive summers.
But as a gay man, he felt the need to put the lives of gay people on the stage. He wrote Kitchen Duty, produced by John Glines. Then came Niagara Falls, a comedy about a working-class family’s reaction to their gay son and his lover arriving unexpectedly for his sister’s wedding. This play has enjoyed a long life, playing in both mainstream and alternative theaters.
In the 1980s he received two MacDowell Fellowships and a Yaddo and Helene Wurlitzer Residency.
Then the era of AIDS began. Almost everyone involved with Kitchen Duty died of the disease. Bumbalo volunteered with GMHC where he headed a team that took care of people with AIDS. He worked with the Anti-Violence Project and tried to avoid writing. Finally, confronting his demons, an award from the Ingram Merrill Foundation allowed him to complete Adam And The Experts, his first play dealing with AIDS. It was loosely based on his relationship with his friend, the novelist and journalist, George Whitmore, and their search for a way out of the nightmare. The New York Times said of the play ”it is the most important play to deal with the AIDS crisis in gay society since William Hoffman’s As Is and Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.” After the successful Off-Broadway run the play has had numerous productions in the United States, England, and Canada.
Victor Bumbalo is a playwright, screenwriter, and director. Tom O’Connor has been on the senior staffs of the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic and has been Executive Director for the Pasadena Symphony and the Santa Monica Symphony. Victor Bumbalo and Tom O’Connor met at Bennington College in the spring of 1967. It was almost a cliché romance. They were both buying coffee in the Commons and struck up a conversation, which went on forever.
What Are Tuesdays Like? follows a set of strangers in the waiting room of an AIDS clinic over several months. Bumbalo was able to expand the world of HIV and deal with issues of class, gender, and race. The play was featured at the Carnegie Mellon Showcase of New Plays and premiered at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. The play has had productions throughout the United States, Germany, Japan, England, Costa Rica, and Sweden.
In 1995, David Milch, executive producer of NYPD Blue, having seen a reading of What Are Tuesdays Like?, invited Bumbalo to write an episode for his series. He moved from New York to Los Angeles.
The success of his NYPD Blue episode led to a staff writing position on American Gothic. Since then he has written several movies of the week and a number of episodes for network television series. In addition, Bumbalo wrote for HBO’s animated series Spawn.
Questa opened at the Court Theatre in Los Angeles. The play was produced by David Milch and starred Wendie Malick, Dan Lauria, and Dorian Harewood. It was a 2007 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Margo Jefferson, Pulitzer Prize winning critic said of the play… “it is a wonder…the talents of Victor Bumbalo—the comic charm, the moral courage, the range of characters—are in perfect accord.
Bumbalo has served on the playwriting committee for the Massachusetts State Arts Council. Most of Bumbalo’s plays are published. Show, Tell, Kitchen Duty, and After Eleven appear in various anthologies. Show can also be found in Applause’s collection of Best American Short Plays. Adam And The Experts, Niagara Falls, What Are Tuesdays Like?, and Questa are published by Broadway Play Publishing.
Most recently he wrote and directed a short film, Two Boys. It has appeared in many festivals throughout the United States and won the Jury Award for Best Drama at the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival.
Victor Bumbalo, 1987, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1123742)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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