“As Asian-Americans, the charge that is often lobbed against us is sort of the least original: the idea that somehow we’re perpetual foreigners, that we can’t be trusted, and that even my father, who was patriotic to the point that it was kind of a joke among his children, would be accused of being disloyal to America.”
David Henry Hwang is an LA-born Chinese-American playwright. His many works reflect his sharp and thoughtful insight into the social and personal implications of race and ethnicity. One of his best-known works, M Butterfly, is based on the true story of a French man who carries on a multi-decade affair with a Beijing opera performer he believes to be a woman, using this unusual narrative to examine the blend of sexism and racism inherent in Western imperialism.
Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Hwang has also won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg “Mimi” Award, and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. His newest work, Kung Fu, dramatizes Bruce Lee’s journey from a troubled Hong Kong youth to an international icon.
“I’m interested in internationalism. It’s the new multiculturalism. How we deal with each other isn’t sufficient any more. It’s about time we examine how we interact with the rest of the world we live in.”