David Henry Hwang
On The Web
David Henry Hwang was awarded the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His play Golden Child, which premiered at South Coast Repertory, received a 1998 Tony nomination and a 1997 OBIE Award. His new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003. Yellow Face won a 2008 OBIE Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Chinglish, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk Nomination. Other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), The Sound of a Voice and Bondage. He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins. As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine). Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate, and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song "Solo" with composer/performer Prince. He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and is a 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow. He is currently the Residency One playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre Company, which has recently revived two of his earlier plays, and will premiere his newest work, Kung Fu, in 2013-14.
Currently, Hwang is writing The Forgotten Arm with singer/songwriter Aimee Mann and Paul Bryant, based on her album, for the Public Theater.
He is currently writing a feature for Dreamworks Animation, as well as the movie adaptation of Chinglish, to be directed by Justin Lin (Fast and Furious).
A native of Los Angeles, Hwang attended Stanford University and the Yale University School of Drama. From 1994–2001, he served by appointment of President Bill Clinton on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In 2012, Hwang received the William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the Asia Society Cultural Achievement Award, as well as the Steinberg Award for playwriting, the largest monetary prize in the American theater. Recently, the Signature Theatre in New York City announced Hwang will be the Residency One Playwright for the 2012-13 season. Hwang succeeds Athol Fugard, and over the course of the year, will enjoy a season-long showcase of his distinguished body of work.
Hwang lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Kathryn Layng, and their two children.
Appearances on CUNY TV
Arts in the City
- November 2013
November 15, 2013
Asian American Life
ATW's Working in the Theatre
Conversations with William M. Hoffman
Invitation to World Literature
- Julie Taymor, Clive Owen And David Henry Hwang On M. Butterfly
December 7, 2017