The Asia Society held its 2011 Asia Society Awards Dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.Comedian and actor, Dan Nainan emceed the festivities, which included a special performance by members of the Silk Road Ensemble.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, were among the 400 who came out to honor and to celebrate the 90th birthday of former Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead, who was presented with an Asia Society Award.
Tony Award-winning and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright and librettist David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), whose hilarious and sexy new comedy CHINGLISH is currently on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street) in New York was presented with the 2011 Cultural Achievement Award.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading pro-democracy opposition leader in Myanmar, received the 2011 Asia Society Global Vision Award, and a videotape of her acceptance speech was played during the dinner.
Asia Society Trustee Lulu Wang, founder of Tupelo Capital Management, presented the 2011 Cultural Achievement Award to Chinglish playwright and librettist David Henry Hwang.
David Henry Hwang’s plays include M. Butterfly (1988 Tony Award, 1989 Pulitzer Prize Finalist), Golden Child (1998 Tony Award nomination, 1997 OBIE Award), Yellow Face (2008 OBIE Award, 2008 Pulitzer Prize Finalist), FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), Bondage. His latest Broadway offering Chinglish, was recently named by TIME Magazine, Bloomberg Radio, NY1 and WNYC as one of the Top 10 Broadway shows of the year. He wrote the libretti for the Broadway musicals Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song (revival, 2002 Tony Award nomination) and Disney’s Tarzan. In opera, his libretti include four works with composer Philip Glass: The Voyage (Metropolitan Opera), 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, Sound and Beauty (seen in Chicago at the Court Theatre), and Icarus at the Edge of Time; as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (Opernwelt 2007 “World Premiere of the Year”) and Howard Shore’sThe Fly. Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate and Possession (co-author), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with Prince. Hwang sits on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, and served by appointment of President Clinton on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. More information about Chinglish
Click here to view his speech.
Hwang was joined by his wife actress Kathryn Layng; and his Chinglish crew: Museworks. Ltd.’s Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith, his cultural advisors; his director Leigh Silverman, and his costume designer Anita Yavich.
Asia Society Trustee J. Michael Evans, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, presented the 2011 Global Vision Award to former Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, John C. Whitehead graduated from Haverford College in 1943 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After receiving his M.B.A. degree from Harvard in 1947 he began at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he became Partner in 1956 and Senior Partner in 1976. In 1985 President Reagan appointed Mr. Whitehead Deputy Secretary of State, a position he held from July 1985 until January 1989. Click here to view his speech.
He is the former Chairman of such diverse organizations as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Harvard Board of Overseers, the International Rescue Committee, the United Nations Association, Haverford College, Asia Society and the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund. He is Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America/GNY.
In late 2001 Mr. Whitehead was appointed as Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp, the organization responsible for the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan, and served in that position until May 2006. He is also the Founding Chairman of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Global Vision Award
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the leading pro-democracy opposition leader in Myanmar and the daughter of Aung San, a martyred national hero, and Khin Kyi, a late Burmese diplomat. She has spent most of the past two decades under detention after her party, the National League for Democracy, won a victory in the 1990 elections but was denied power by the ruling military junta. In the midst of her struggle, she has endured the loss of her husband, Michael Aris, and continued separation from her two sons. She was eventually released from house arrest on November 13, 2010 following the election of a new government, and a year later announced she would rejoin the political system.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s reemergence into politics has ushered in a new state of dialogue between Myanmar and the international community, highlighted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit in early December 2011, the first visit from a foreign secretary to the country in over 50 years. She formally registered her National League for Democracy as a political party in December 2011. The government of Myanmar approved the National League for Democracy’s registration on January 5, 2012, and the party is ready to begin campaigning for the by-elections to be held on April 1 of this year.
In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Price for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.
Click here to view her videotaped message.
Click here for highlights of the dinner.
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education and policy, the Society provides insight , generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.
Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit education institution headquartered in New York with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington D.C.
Asia Society Honors Chinglish Playwright David Henry Hwang and Former Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead at the Waldorf Astoria on January 11, 2012
CHINGLISH Celebrates 100th Performance on 1/5/12 – Meet David Henry Hwang & the Cast After Post-Show Talkback
Photos: Maya Lin, BD Wong, David Henry Hwang, Yeohlee, Oscar L. Tang and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at MOCA Legacy Awards Gala
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