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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 2093

Bodacious Buggerilla theater group collection


Collection of reproductions of scripts and a letter relating to the Black street theater group, Bodacious Buggerilla.


  • 1971


Condition Description

In good condition; all four items are stapled.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


.04 linear feet (1 volume)

Collection is comprised of three scripts ("Uncle Tom", "Telephone", and "Killer Joe"), a letter from a writer identified by signature as "J." to "Nancy", and a transcript of a talk between the author, again identified as J., and group founder, Ed Bereal. All are reproductions.

Biographical / Historical

The Black street theater group Bodacious Buggerrilla was founded in Los Angeles (Calif.) by Ed Bereal (1937- ), an American painter and assemblage artist, as a reaction to the 1965 Watts Riot (also called the Watts Rebellion). He and former art students at the University of California at Riverside performed skits in bars, laundromats, and other street settings with a focus on social and political critique and often depicting racial stereotypes. According to Bereal, the group, having drawn the attention of the FBI, kept a farm in San Bernardino (Calif.) where they raised food for sustenance and conducted an extensive program for self-defense. Bodacious Buggerilla performed in the 1960s and 1970s; they reunited for a 2012 performance.

(Sources: dealer's description; Alexandra Vlak Cipolle,; Steve Saldivar,; Artland,


Arranged in order as received.

Custodial History

Ownership prior to this acquisition is unkknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2021MT-22. Purchased from Bolerium Books with the Frank E. Chase Bequest, 2021 January 20.

Processing Information

This collection was processed to a basic level with minimal rehousing, organization, and preservation. (Melanie Wisner, 2021)


Bodacious Buggerilla theater group collection (MS Thr 2093): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2021 March 12
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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