Brulin studied scenographics at La Cambre (1943-1946) in Brussels. The boss of that institution, Herman Teirlinck, became Brulin's mentor. From 1946 until 1948 Brulin studied theatre at the Studio in Antwerp. Tone Brulin was co-founder of avant-garde literary magazines, such as Tijd en Mens (Time and Human) (1948), together with Hugo Claus and Louis-Paul Boon and also of Gard Sivik (1952), together with Hugues Pernath and Paul Snoek.
In 1953 he founded in Antwerp the Nederlands Kamertoneel (Nederlands Chamber Theatre) and staged his first experimental play. Brulin deserved acknowledgment as playwright after he had won the Prijs van de Boekenweek (Prize of the Bookweek) in Amsterdam (1953). He also got the CJP-prize, the Hegenscheidt Prijs van Sabam, de Hustinckx Price, the Nationale Prijs voor Toneelschrijvers (National Prize for Playwrights) and medal of honour of the city Brussels. During his studies in La Cambre he played the prince of Aragan in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, staged by Gust Maes, in the KVS in Brussels.
In a continuous search to self-development and training, Brulin traveled all around the world. In New York he followed lessons at Lee Strasberg, in Actor's Studio.
Back in Belgium, he went back to the KVS to stage several of his own plays there. A tour with the KVS in Congo was the beginning of a period of work in Africa. He staged several plays for the Zuid-Afrikaanse Nationale Theater (South-African National Theatre) in Pretoria and founded Die Kamertoneel (The Chamber Theatre), following the Antwerp model. He staged among others Waiting for Godot, in which he himself played the role of Vladimir. Brulin turned back to Europe with Les Chiens (French: the dogs), an anti-apartheid play that is set by different societies: National Thetra of Algeria, Théâtre de la Communce d'Aubervilliers, Théatre du Park in Brussels.
With the South-Afircan author Athol Fugard he founded the group Nieuw Afrika (New Africa). With this they performed in Brussels, in the Paleis voor de Schone Kunsten (Palace of Fine Art), on the avant-garde theatre festival. In the '60s he was mainly active as director at television and as a teacher at the RITCS in Brussels.
In 1967 he represented the Belgian delegation on the congress of the International Theatre institute in Warsaw.
In 1970 Brulin staged Saboo, the first production of Théâtre Laboratoire Vicinal with Frédéruc Flamand. In the '70s he taught in several drama-divisions in the United States of America. After that he moved to Curaçao. Together with some of his students at the Antich College he started the Curoçao de Otrabanda company. Their play Kaakamakaakon was to be premiered in New York.
From 1972 onwards Brulin worked as professor in the theatre at the Sains University in Penang, Malaysia. Back in Europe he got a job at the Theatre-academy in Maastricht. In 1975 he founded TIE3, Theatre of the Third World. Between 1975 and 1985 this developed a multicultural repertory of African and Asian plays such as Kapai-Kapai, Ba Anansi, Charkawa and Gilgamesj.
In 1992, Brulin took care of the decoration in the Brussels metro station Bizet.