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John Belluso


John Belluso, the disabled playwright who wrote plays about disability, died Feb. 10 in his New York City hotel room.

A Los Angeles resident, he was 36. No cause of death has yet been determined.

The scribe was at work on an unfinished new play, “The Poor Itch,” about an injured vet of the war in Iraq, for consideration for the 2006-07 season at the Public Theater.

Belluso’s stage work includes “Pyretown” and “Henry Flamethrowa,” both of which received Off Broadway productions in 2005, as well as “Gretty Good Time” and “A Nervous Smile.” His shows have been produced by the Magic Theater in San Francisco, the Mark Taper Forum in L.A., the Humana Festival of New Plays, and Gotham’s Keen Company, among others.

As the director of the Other Voices Project at the Taper from 1999-2005, he contributed to the development of other disabled theater artists.

He also wrote for television, including episodes of “Deadwood” and “The Ghost Whisperer.”

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Born in Warwick, R.I., Belluso used a wheelchair from the age of 13 due to Engelman-Camurdrie Syndrome, a non-fatal bone disorder that limits muscle strength.

He is survived by his mother and two sisters. The Public Theater and New Dramatists, where he was in the final year of a seven-year residency, will hold a memorial service for him at the Public Feb 27.

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