David Henry Hwang (2000-2001)

David Henry Hwang headshotDAVID HENRY HWANG is a playwright, screenwriter, and librettist, best known as the author of M. BUTTERFLY, which ran for two years on Broadway and won the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, John Gassner, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as the 1991 L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award. The play also enjoyed a one-year run on London’s West End and has been produced in over three dozen countries to date. His most recent play, GOLDEN CHILD, premiered Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, received a 1997 OBIE Award for playwriting, and subsequently moved to Broadway, where it received 1998 Tony and Outer Critics Circle Nominations for Best Play. He is currently represented on Broadway as co-author of the book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, which received four 2000 Tony Awards. His new version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s FLOWER DRUM SONG will premiere in Los Angeles in April 2001, and is slated to arrive on Broadway in October of that year. He is also working on a new play about Paul Gauguin.

Mr. Hwang’s other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), THE DANCE & THE RAILROAD (1982 Drama Desk Nomination; 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 MŸller (1998).

Mr. Hwang penned the screenplays for the feature films M. BUTTERFLY, a 1993 Warner Brothers release; and GOLDEN GATE (Samuel Goldwyn Co., 1994). He has also done filmwriting work for producer Scott Rudin; directors Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Tim Burton, and Jean-Jacques Annaud; and actors Jessica Lange, Bette Midler, and Robin Williams. His television miniseries THE MONKEY KING will air on NBC in November 2001, and he is currently writing an original screenplay set in the London art world for Michael Douglas and MGM.

As a librettist, he has written 1000 AIRPLANES ON THE ROOF (1988), THE VOYAGE (1992), THE SILVER RIVER (1997). He is currently working with composer Alexina Louie on THE SCARLET PRINCESS, commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company. He co-wrote the song “Solo,” released on the 1994 gold album COME by the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. He recently made his acting debut in the digital short “Asian Pride Porn,” directed by Greg Pak.

David Henry Hwang has been awarded numerous grants, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations. In 1998, the nation’s oldest Asian American theatre company, East West Players, christened its new mainstage The David Henry Hwang Theatre. By appointment of President Clinton, he also serves on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

David Henry Hwang graduated from Stanford University and attended the Yale School of Drama.