David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, and librettist, best known as the author of M. Butterfly, which ran for two years on Broadway, won the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, John Gassner, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The play also enjoyed a one-year run on London's West End and has been produced in over three dozen countries to date. Golden Child premiered Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, received a 1997 OBIE Award for playwriting and subsequently moved to Broadway, where it received three 1998 Tony Nominations, including Best Play. His new book for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003 for Best Book of a Musical. He also co-wrote the book for Disney's international musical hit Aida, with music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, and is currently represented on Broadway as the bookwriter of Disney's Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins. His newest play, Yellow Face, will premiere in 2007 at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum and New York's Public Theater.
Mr. Hwang's other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance & the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Nomination and Pulitzer finalist; CINE Golden Eagle Award), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), The House of Sleeping Beauties (1983), The Sound of a Voice (1983), Bondage (1992), Face Value (1993), and Trying to Find Chinatown (1996). He also adapted Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt with Swiss director Stephan Muller (1998). His plays are published by Plume, Theatre Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, and Playscripts, Inc.
Mr. Hwang penned the screenplays for M. Butterfly, a 1993 Warner Brothers release starring Jeremy Irons and John Lone, directed by David Cronenberg; Golden Gate (Samuel Goldwyn Co., 1994), starring Matt Dillon and Joan Chen, directed by John Madden; The Lost Empire, a four-hour NBC television miniseries (Hallmark Entertainment, 2001); and Possession (co-writer, USA Films/Warner Brothers, 2002), starring Gwyneth Paltrow, directed by Neil LaBute.
As a librettist, he has written three works for composer Philip Glass: 1000 Airplanes on the Roof (1988), The Voyage, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1992, and The Sound of a Voice for the American Repertory Theatre (2003). The Silver River, with music by Bright Sheng, was produced at the 1998 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, 2000 Spoleto Festival USA and the 2002 Lincoln Center Festival. Ainadamar, with music by Osvaldo Golijov, was produced by the Santa Fe Opera in 2005 and Lincoln Center in 2006, in a production directed by Peter Sellars, starring Dawn Upshaw; the CD has recently been released by Deutsche Grammophon. Mr. Hwang also co-wrote the song "Solo," released on the 1994 gold album Come by composer/performer Prince. He made his acting debut in the 2001 digital short "Asian Pride Porn," directed by Greg Pak.
David Henry Hwang has been awarded numerous grants, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. He has been honored with awards from the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (1989), the Association for Asian Pacific American Artists (1989 & 1991), the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (1995), East West Players (1997), the Organization of Chinese Americans (1997), the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (1998), the Center for Migration Studies (1998), the Asian American Resource Workshop (2000), China Institute (2001), the New York Foundation for the Arts (2001), Urban Stages (2002), Asian Professional Extension (2002), Second Generation Productions (2002), the Asian American Federation of New York (2003), the California State Legislature (2003), the City of Houston (2003), the Asian American Theatre Company (2004). the Asia Society Washington Center (2005), and the Cherry Lane Theatre (2006). In 1998, the nation's oldest Asian American theatre company, East West Players, christened its new mainstage The David Henry Hwang Theatre.
Mr. Hwang sits on the boards of the Dramatists Guild, Young Playwrights Inc., and the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. He conducts interviews on arts-related topics for the national PBS cable television show Asian America. From 1994-2001, he served by appointment of President Clinton on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
David Henry Hwang graduated from Stanford University, attended the Yale School of Drama, and holds honorary degrees from Columbia College in Chicago and The American Conservatory Theatre. He lives in New York City with his wife, actress Kathryn Layng, and their children, Noah David and Eva Veanne.