Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang Receives $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang, a recipient of the $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award, is a playwright whose incisive investigations of Asian-American identity and ethnicity have earned him the title of a “true original” (The New York Times). Since winning a Tony Award for his play M. Butterfly (1988), Hwang has written for films, musicals, operas and theatre. He is currently the most produced living opera librettist, working extensively with Philip Glass, among other world-renowned composers. His recent plays include Chinglish (2011), about an American businessman in China, which received a Drama Desk Nomination (2012); and Yellow Face (2007), a semi-autobiographical play about the fluidity of race, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist (2008) and won an OBIE Award for Playwriting (2008).Nothing is Sacred in David Henry Hwang’s Comedy of Mistaken Racial Identity

Francis Jue as HYH and Hoon Lee as DHH in David Henry Hwang's YELLOW FACE at the Public Theater in New York.(2007) Photo by Joan Marcus

Francis Jue as HYH and Hoon Lee as DHH in David Henry Hwang’s YELLOW FACE at the Public Theater in New York. 2007 Photo by Joan Marcus

Mr. Hwang has been honored with a 2008 MAP Fund grant, the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the 2012 Asia Society Cultural Achievement Award, the 2012 China Institute Blue Cloud Award, a 2012 USA Fellowship and the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. From 1994-2001, Mr. Hwang served by appointment of President Clinton on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He currently sits on the boards of the Dramatists Guild, Young Playwrights Inc. and the Museum of the Chinese in the Americas. He is currently the Residency One playwright at Signature Theatre Company, which premiered his newest work, Kung Fu (2014), a biographical play about Bruce Lee.
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards

Ari Loeb and Cole Horibe in Kung Fu (2014). Photo by Joan Marcus

Ari Loeb and Cole Horibe in Kung Fu (2014). Photo by Joan Marcus

Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu

Michelle Krusiec (left) and Alex Moggridge (right) in South Coast Repertory’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. (2012) Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

Michelle Krusiec (left) and Alex Moggridge (right) in South Coast Repertory’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. (2012) Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

David Henry Hwang said, “Though my first play premiered in New York almost 35 years ago, the commitment to continue creating new, original work grows, if anything, more challenging in middle age, particularly with kids heading off to college. My deepest gratitude to the Doris Duke Artist Awards for understanding and addressing the unique demands of a long-term artistic career. When I learned the amazing news that I was a 2014 recipient, I thought, ‘Fantastic! Now I can afford to keep writing plays!'”

Opening night curtain call of Signature's revival of David Henry Hwang's Golden Child on November 13, 2012 in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Opening night curtain call of Signature’s revival of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child on November 13, 2012 in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child; Extended Run Ends December 16, 2012

Hwang is among the third group of individuals to receive Doris Duke Artist Awards, which were announced today by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), along with the first-ever recipients of the Doris Duke Impact Awards. Both awards are part of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, a special, ten-year initiative of the foundation to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding in response to financial challenges that are specific to the performing arts. Doris Duke Artist Award recipients receive $275,000, and Doris Duke Impact Award recipients receive $80,000. Since commencing in April 2012, the program has awarded a total of $18.1 million to artists in the fields of jazz, dance and theatre.

Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, said, “One of the great joys for us at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is the annual announcement of Doris Duke Artist Award grantees. This year’s roster is an extraordinary group, representing a wide range of artistic styles, ages, communities and experiences. We’re honored to recognize their singular achievements and their continuing influence on their respective fields, and to offer them this extraordinary commitment of time and money. Furthermore, we are especially happy to announce the first ever class of Doris Duke Impact Award grantees—artists chosen from a larger pool of nominations submitted by previous Doris Duke Artist Award recipients. These Impact Awards make a strong statement about the power these artists will have in shaping the fields of dance, theatre and jazz, and represent a new way for us to expand our reach to embrace artists we may not have supported in the past.”

The 2014 award recipients are:
2014 Doris Duke Artist Awards
• John Collins (Theatre)
• Joanna Haigood (Dance)
• David Henry Hwang (Theatre)
• John Jasperse (Dance)
• Emily Johnson (Dance)
• Bill T. Jones (Dance)
• Melanie Joseph (Theatre)
• Nancy Keystone (Theatre)
• Lisa Kron (Theatre)
• Oliver Lake (Jazz)
• Steve Lehman (Jazz)
• Tarell Alvin McCraney (Theatre)
• Roscoe Mitchell (Jazz)
• Zeena Parkins (Jazz)
• Annie-B Parson (Dance)
• Ranee Ramaswamy (Dance)
• Peggy Shaw (Theatre)
• Craig Taborn (Jazz)
• Randy Weston (Jazz)

2014 Doris Duke Impact Awards
• Muhal Richard Abrams (Jazz)
• Ambrose Akinmusire (Jazz)
• Steve Coleman (Jazz)
• Anna Halprin (Dance)
• Trajal Harrell (Dance)
• Julia Jarcho (Theatre)
• Jennifer Lacey (Dance)
• Jodi Melnick (Dance)
• Ben Monder (Jazz)
• Jennifer Monson (Dance)
• Dean Moss (Theatre)
• Lucia Neare (Theatre)
• Aruán Ortiz (Jazz)
• Matana Roberts (Jazz)
• Tina Satter (Theatre)
• Jen Shyu (Jazz)
• Johnny Simons (Theatre)
• Michael Sommers (Theatre)
• Adrienne Truscott (Dance)
• Cristal Chanelle Truscott (Theatre)

About the Doris Duke Artist Awards
Each recipient of a Doris Duke Artist Award receives $275,000—including an unrestricted, multi-year cash grant of $225,000, plus as much as $25,000 more in targeted support for audience development and as much as $25,000 more for personal reserves or creative exploration during what are usually retirement years for most Americans. Artists will be able to access their awards over a period of three to five years under a schedule set by each recipient. Creative Capital, DDCF’s primary partner in the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, will also offer the awardees the opportunity to participate in professional development activities, financial and legal counseling, and regional gatherings—all designed to help them personalize and maximize the use of their grants. Ruby Lerner, founding president and executive director of Creative Capital, said, “We’re so excited to welcome these exceptional artists to both the Duke and Creative Capital communities. It will be a privilege for us to share the tools and resources we’ve developed over the past 15 years with this stellar group of artists.”

To qualify for consideration by the review panels, all the Doris Duke Artists must have won grants, prizes or awards on a national level for at least three different projects over the past ten years, with at least one project having received support from a DDCF-funded program. The panel chose the artists based on demonstrated evidence of exceptional creativity, ongoing self-challenge and the continuing potential to make significant contributions to the fields of jazz, contemporary dance and theatre in the future. By the end of the initiative, 100 artists will have been named Doris Duke Artists.

About the Doris Duke Impact Awards
Each recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award receives $80,000–including an unrestricted, multi-year cash grant of $60,000, plus as much as $10,000 more in targeted support for audience development and as much as $10,000 more personal reserves or creative exploration during what are usually retirement years for most Americans. Artists will be able to access their awards over a period of two to three years under a schedule set by each recipient. Like the Doris Duke Artists, Doris Duke Impact Award recipients have the opportunity to participate in professional development activities, financial and legal counseling, and regional gatherings through Creative Capital, DDCF’s primary partner in the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards. By the end of the Awards, 100 artists will have received Doris Duke Impact Awards.

Doris Duke Impact Award recipients were nominated by previous Doris Duke Artist Award recipients. Nominators were required to identify multiple artists who have influenced and are helping to move forward the fields of dance, jazz and/or theatre—but may or may not be artists in one of these particular fields. In addition to these criteria, they were encouraged to consider artists, including dancers, actors, and non- composing musicians, who are not eligible for the Doris Duke Artist Awards. A separate anonymous panel of artists then selected artists from this larger nomination pool. By the end of the initiative, 100 artists will have received Doris Duke Impact Awards.

About the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is granting these awards as part of a larger $50 million, ten-year commitment beyond its already existing funding for the performing arts. The first 21 Doris Duke Artists were announced in April 2012, and to date, 80 artists have been awarded $18,375,000.

By the end of the ten years, the foundation will have offered a total of at least 200 artists greatly expanded freedom to create, through an initiative that makes available the largest allocation of unrestricted cash grants ever given to individuals in contemporary dance, jazz, and theatre. Provided to honorees through a rigorous, anonymous process of peer review—no applications are accepted—the grants are not tied to any specific project but are made as investments in the artistsʼ personal and professional development and future work.

The Doris Duke Artist Awards and the Doris Duke Impact Awards will be announced in classes of approximately twenty between 2012 and 2016, and 2014 and 2018, respectively. More information about the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards is available at www.ddpaa.org.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of peopleʼs lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Dukeʼs properties. The Arts Program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit www.ddcf.org.

About Creative Capital
Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel and career development services. Our pioneering approach—inspired by venture-capital principles—helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Since 1999, Creative Capital has committed $30 million in financial and advisory support to 419 projects representing 529 artists, and our Professional Development Program has reached 7,000 artists in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit www.creative-capital.org.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Apr. 29-May 17: Gordana Rashovich, Mia Dillon and Brian Murray Lead Cast of Westport Country Playhouse’s A SONG AT TWILIGHT
May 19: The Orphan of Zhao’s BD Wong and A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff in Conversation at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
May 1-30: Eating Cultures, A Multidisciplinary Art Exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center, Features Christine Toy Johnson, Cathy Lu, Genevieve Erin O’Brien, Kate Hers Rhee and More
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Miss Saigon’s Francis Jue Receives Elliot Norton Award Nomination for Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor
Kerry Butler, Edward James Hyland, Matt Walton, Megan Sikora and More in Previews of Off-Broadway Production of Under My Skin at The Little Shubert Theatre
Apr. 22 – May 18: Working Theater Presents The off-Broadway Premiere of James McManus’ CHERRY SMOKE at Urban Stages
André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Among 4 Elliot Norton Award Nominations for Huntington’s World Premiere of The Jungle Book, a co-production with The Goodman
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Apr. 23-27: Joel de la Fuente Stars in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at PlayMaker’s Repertory Company
Jun. 22 – July 27: Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Set for Old Globe Debut in OTHELLO
Apr. 17-May 18: Tonya Pinkins and Roscoe Orman Lead the Cast of New Federal Theatre’s Off-Broadway Production of The Fabulous Miss Marie
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz Presents “LADY” Featuring Lia Chang, Monica Garrido, Carolyn Holmes, Noel Simon’ Wippler, Linda Hudson, Adi Meyerson and Kathleen Doran
Mar. 21-May 4: Richard Thomas, Ron Rifkin, Hallie Foote and Khaled Nabaway Set for Arena Stage’s World Premiere of Lawrence Wright’s Camp David
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre Febone1960.net Review: Power Play Powerful & Suspenseful
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

David Henry Hwang Articles:
Signature’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, starring Cole Horibe, Phoebe Strole and Francis Jue, extends through April 6, 2014
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Signature’s Production Photos of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, Opens February 24, 2014
Celebrating the Year of the Horse with David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu at Signature Theatre; Previews begin February 4, 2014
Feb. 4 – Mar. 16: Phoebe Strole, Jon Rua, Join Cole Horibe and More for Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Feb. 4 – Mar. 16: Cole Horibe, Francis Jue, Peter Kim and More Set for Signature’s
World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu

Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu Stars SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Cole Horibe as Bruce Lee
Ryun Yu, Christopher Gorham, Linda Park, Sab Shimono, Emily Kuroda, Ki Hong Lee, Justin James Hughes star in David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face Premiering on YOMYOMF Network on 6/8 & 6/9 
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Signature Theatre’s Revival of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Set for Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, May 9-12, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night at Signature Theatre
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child; Extended Run Ends December 16, 2012
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
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
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
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.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 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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