Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space

On Monday, May 7, 2012 at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York, Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang celebrated the release of his newly published play from TCG Books, Chinglish, which received its Broadway premiere in Fall 2011 and was named “Best American Play of 2011” by TIME magazine, and as one of the Top 10 Broadway shows of the year by Bloomberg Radio, NY1 and WNYC.

David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

The critically acclaimed Chinglish is set for the silver screen, and a tour which kicks off in the Fall at Berkeley Rep. Fast and Furious helmer Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow, Finishing the Game), recently acquired the film rights to Chinglish and is set to begin shooting in 2013, with a screenplay by Hwang.
Filmmaker Justin Lin Acquires Film Rights to David Henry Hwang’s Critically Acclaimed Broadway Comedy Chinglish

WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang


The play has been nominated for 3 Drama Desk Awards including – Outstanding Play for Hwang, Outstanding Actress in a Play for Jennifer Lim and Outstanding Set Design for David Korins. Chinglish opened at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in the summer of 2011, winning two Jeff Awards – for Hwang (New Work-Play) and scenic designer David Korins (Scenic Design-Large), before moving to Broadway.
Brian d’Arcy James, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Jennifer Lim and Francis Jue at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Brian d’Arcy James, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Jennifer Lim and Francis Jue at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

This Fall, Hwang succeeds Athol Fugard as Signature Theatre’s Residency One playwright for the 2012-2013 season at the company’s new home, The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues). Residency One is Signature’s core one-year playwright-in-residence program that produces a series of plays from the body of work of one accomplished writer. The Residency One: David Henry Hwang Series will feature revivals of Golden Child, directed by Leigh Silverman;The Dance and the Railroad, directed by May Adrales; and the world premiere of Kung Fu, a play which incorporates dance and music into an exciting new form, in which a young martial artist comes to America from Hong Kong in the 1960’s, with a dream as audacious as his talent: to become the biggest movie star in the world. To do so, he must struggle to overcome the West’s view of China as weak and backwards, and of Asian men as less than truly masculine. Directed by Silverman. David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater interviews David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater interviews David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater interviews David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater interviews David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

WNYC lived streamed the conversation with Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public Theater in New York and Hwang. Click here to view the video.
Leigh Silverman and David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Leigh Silverman and David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Obie award winning director Leigh Silverman, who directed Chinglish and Yellow Face, helmed the theatrical segment of the program, which featured excerpts of M. Butterfly read by BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James; of Yellow Face read by Hwang and Francis Jue; and of Chinglish read by Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim, who received a Theatre World Award on May 8, for her breakout Broadway debut.
BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James read a scene from M. Butterfly at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James read a scene from M. Butterfly at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James read a scene from M. Butterfly at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James read a scene from M. Butterfly at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James read a scene from M. Butterfly at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

BD Wong and Brian d’Arcy James read a scene from M. Butterfly at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Hwang’s plays often explore the Asian American experience and multiculturalism in contemporary society. He is the author of M. Butterfly (1988 Tony Award, 1989 Pulitzer Finalist), Golden Child (1996 Obie Award, 1998 Tony Nomination), Yellow Face (2008 Obie Award and Pulitzer Finalist), The Dance and the Railroad, Family Devotions and FOB (1981 Obie Award). His Broadway musicals include the books for Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (revival, 2002 Tony Nomination), and Disney’s Tarzan. 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), Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland, and Bright Sheng’s The Silver River. He penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate, and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with pop star Prince. Hwang attended Stanford University and the Yale School of Drama, and sits on the boards of the Dramatists Guild, the American Theatre Wing, and the Lark Play Development Center. From 1994-2001, he served by appointment of President Clinton on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
David Henry Hwang as D.H.H. and Francis Jue as H.Y.H. in a scene from Yellow Face at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang as D.H.H. and Francis Jue as H.Y.H. in a scene from Yellow Face
at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang as D.H.H. and Francis Jue as H.Y.H. in a scene from Yellow Face at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang as D.H.H. and Francis Jue as H.Y.H. in a scene from Yellow Face
at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang as D.H.H. and Francis Jue as H.Y.H. in a scene from Yellow Face at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang as D.H.H. and Francis Jue as H.Y.H. in a scene from Yellow Face
at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang


On May 11, 2012, Hwang will receive the 2012 China Institute Blue Cloud Award at the China Institute Gala Benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. His recent accolades include the 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award, the 2011 Asia Society Cultural Achievement Award, and the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist.
David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award
Photos: David Henry Hwang, John C. Whitehead, Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Asia Society Awards Dinner in New York
David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang watches Brian d’Arcy James and Jennifer Lim in a scene from Chinglish at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang


After the program, Hwang signed copies of Chinglish, Yellow Face, Flower Drum Song, Golden Child, and his anthology of selected plays, Trying to Find Chinatown, for a line of people which stretched the length of WNYC’s The Greene Space studio.
David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater interviews David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater interviews David Henry Hwang at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, BD Wong and  Jennifer Lim  at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, BD Wong and Jennifer Lim
at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang


David Henry Hwang and Oskar Eustis at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang and Oskar Eustis at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang


David Henry Hwang and BD Wong at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang and BD Wong at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Chinglish cultural advisors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Chinglish cultural advisors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Brian D'Arcy James, Leigh Silverman and BD Wong at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

Brian D’Arcy James, Leigh Silverman and BD Wong at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang


BD Wong at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

BD Wong at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York on May 7, 2012, courtesy New York Public Radio. © 2012 Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang Articles:
WNYC’s The Greene Space presents “An Evening with David Henry Hwang” featuring Oskar Eustis, Brian d’Arcy James, BD Wong, Jennifer Lim, Francis Jue
Filmmaker Justin Lin Acquires Film Rights to David Henry Hwang’s Critically Acclaimed Broadway Comedy Chinglish
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award
Photos & Video: Celebrate Chinese New Year with David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish
David Henry Hwang, Kathryn Layng and BD Wong at the Asian American Writers Workshop Literary Awards
Nothing is Sacred in David Henry Hwang’s Comedy of Mistaken Racial Identity
Francis Jue, At Home on the Stage
The Making of the Flower Drum Song Cast Album
Flower Drum Song, An American Story
The Literary Legacy of C.Y. Lee
Click here for more articles on David Henry Hwang.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Epic Theatre Presents Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths, starring Joel de la Fuente, May 20-21, 2012
Raymond J. Lee and Ali Ewoldt star in Concert Reading of Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain on May 21, 2012
BD Wong to Star in Live Concert Recording of HERRINGBONE for 2 Nights Only as a Benefit for Dixon Place, 5/21, 5/22
Emmy Award Winner Richard Thomas Hosts Give Kids a Shot! National Meningitis Association Gala 2012 at the New York Athletic Club
Photos: BD Wong, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tom Viola at “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
Photos: BD Wong in Rehearsal for “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
Photos: Alan Cumming, Sutton Foster, David Pittu, Jarlath Conroy and Gordana Rashovich at Charles Busch’s Judith of Bethulia
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
The SFIAAFF30 Kicks Off with World Premiere of White Frog Featuring Booboo Stewart, Harry Shum, Jr., Joan Chen, Kelly Hu and BD Wong, at the Castro Theater on March 8
Photos: “How To Succeed” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rose Hemingway and John Larroquette at Lord & Taylor for Windows Unveiling
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo at Opening Night Party of Neil LaBute’s Break of Noon
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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