Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Tony Award®-winning Playwright David Henry Hwang to Succeed William Ivey Long as Chair of the American Theatre Wing

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to Tony Award®-winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, who has been elected the Chair of the American Theatre Wing. Having joined the board of the American Theatre Wing in 2009, Mr. Hwang will succeed current Chair costume designer William Ivey Long, who concludes his four-year term this year (the maximum number of consecutive years permitted). Mr. Long will maintain an active role in the Wing as he takes on the responsibilities as Immediate Past Chair.

Mr. Hwang will serve as Chair of the Wing’s Board of Directors, and will be joined by Co-Vice Chairs Natasha Katz, Marva Smalls, and Pamela Zilly; Treasurer James Higgins; Secretary Jane Fearer Safer; and Immediate Past Chair William Ivey Long. The Wing’s President and CEO Heather Hitchens recently completed her fifth full year in that role.

“I am honored to serve the American Theatre Wing as it celebrates a century advancing excellence,” said Mr. Hwang. “Through its wide range of programs and activities, the Wing supports the vitality and diversity of theatre in our nation. I will do my best to help build on this iconic legacy.”

David Henry Hwang is an American dramatist whose work includes the plays M. ButterflyChinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, and Golden Child, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival), and Disney’s Tarzan. America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, including 1000 Airplanes on the Roof. In September, the San Francisco Opera will present the World Premiere of Mr. Hwang and Bright Sheng’s Dream of The Red Chamber, helmed by Stan Lai. Mr. Hwang has won a Tony Award and three OBIE awards, and he has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His screenplays include Possession (co-writer), Golden Gate, and M. Butterfly. He is a writer/producer for the TV series The Affair, and he is currently developing an original series, Shanghai. Mr. Hwang won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He attended Stanford University and Yale Drama School and was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre. Mr. Hwang holds honorary degrees from Columbia College, Chicago, Dr. of Letters, 1998; American Conservatory Theatre, MFA Acting, 2000; LeHigh University, Dr. of Letters, 2011; USC, Dr. of Literature, 2013; SUNY Purchase College, Dr. of Fine Arts, 2015; and received a Dr. of Letters from Williams College earlier this month. He directs Columbia University’s School of the Arts M.F.A. program in playwriting.

President Falk (center in purple and black robe) with honorary degree recipients Sarah Bolton, Eric Carle, Bryan Stevenson, Frank Deford, Elizabeth Kolbert, David Henry Hwang, Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Leehom Wang at the Williams College 227th Commencement Exercise on June 5, 2016. Photo courtesy of Williams College/Facebook

President Falk (center in purple and black robe) with honorary degree recipients Sarah Bolton, Eric Carle, Bryan Stevenson, Frank Deford, Elizabeth Kolbert, David Henry Hwang, Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Leehom Wang at the Williams College 227th Commencement Exercise on June 5, 2016. Photo courtesy of Williams College/Facebook

David Henry Hwang, Leehom Wang, Bryan Stevenson, Elizabeth Kolbert, Sarah Bolton, Eric Carle, Frank Deford, Carrie Hessler-Radelet Receive Honorary Degrees from Williams College

“As the Wing’s Chief Executive Officer for the last five years, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to work hand in hand with two extraordinary chairs, William Ivey Long and Ted Chapin, who both elevated and advanced our work and programs,” said Ms. Hitchens. “David Henry Hwang is an exceptional artist and advocate, and I am thrilled that he will be by my side as we lead the Wing to even greater heights.”

New appointments to the American Theatre Wing’s Advisory Committee include Robyn Coles, Alia Jones-Harvey, Lucy Liu, Patti LuPone, Charles Tolbert, Liesl Tommy, Sergio Trujillo, and Lia Vollack.

About The American Theatre Wing

For nearly a century, the mission of the American Theatre Wing has been to serve and support the American Theatre by celebrating excellence, nurturing the public’s appreciation of theatre, and providing unique educational and access opportunities for both practitioners and audiences.

Best known for creating The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, now presented with The Broadway League, the Wing has developed the best-known national platform for the recognition of theatrical achievement on Broadway. Yet the Wing’s reach extends beyond Broadway and beyond New York, with educational and media work that offers the very best in theatre to people around the world. In addition to its various media programs and a host of other online resources, The Wing sponsors many activities, all dedicated to recognizing excellence and supporting education in theatre. The Wing’s programs include the Theatre Intern Group, a career development program for young professionals; SpringboardNYC, a two-week college-to-career boot camp for young performers moving to NYC; and the Jonathan Larson® Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers.

Visitors to can listen to, watch or download from the Wing’s extensive media collection, and learn more about all of its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences who want to learn more about the making of theatre. Follow the Wing on and

San Francisco Opera to Present World Premiere of Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang’s ‘Dream of The Red Chamber’, helmed by Stan Lai, Sept. 10 -29 

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Presents 2018 World Premiere of ‘An American Soldier’ by David Henry Hwang and Huang Ruo 

Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang’s Commencement Speech at SUNY Purchase 

Click here for more articles on David Henry Hwang.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and

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