Pulp Fiction in The Spotlight!

Pulp Fiction in The Spotlight!

“Pulp Fiction” is  a term used to describe a huge amount of creative writing available to the American public in the early nineteen-hundreds. Termed “pulp magazines” because of the low quality paper used between the covers, these publications proliferated in the 1930s and 1940s to the point where they blanketed newsstands in just about every popular fiction genre of the time.

Although the pages in-between the covers were a dingy cheap quality, the covers were beautifully decorated, many times with lurid portraits of pretty women in various stages of trouble, and the handsome men attempting to rescue them.

By under-paying writers and publishing on in-expensive media, pulp publishers were able to charge 10 cents for an issue containing several stories. Low prices drew in many working-class young adults and teenagers, who could not otherwise afford some of the pricier magazines of the day. The low price of the pulp magazine, coupled with the skyrocketing literacy rates, all contributed to the success of the medium. Pulps allowed its readers to experience people, places, and action they normally would not have access to. Bigger-than-life heroes, pretty girls, exotic places, strange and mysterious villains all stalked the pages of the many issues available to the general public on the magazine stands.

World War II brought paper rationing and increased paper prices. Also, some believe that the real horrors of the war replaced the fictional horrors found between the cover of the pulps. The once popular magazines began to lose readership and disappeared from the newsstand, one-by-one. Playwright Don Fried has taken advantage of the dilemma those writers faced to create the premise for his play Bodice Ripper. His protagonist is attempting to make the change from Pulp Fiction to an upcoming genre, Romance Novels. When his previous characters refuse to be forgotten pandemonium ensues!

Previously staged in London, the U. S. Premiere of Bodice Ripper opens in Stage II at Camino Real Playhouse on March 18th for a three weekend run.

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