The Theatre of David Henry Hwang

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-12-17
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Since the premiere of his play FOB in 1979, the Chinese American playwright David Henry Hwang has made a significant impact in the U. S. and beyond. The Theatre of David Henry Hwang provides an in-depth study of his plays and other works in theatre.

Beginning with his "Trilogy of Chinese America", Esther Kim Lee traces all major phases of his playwriting career. Utilizing historical and dramaturgical analysis, she argues that Hwang has developed a unique style of meta-theatricality and irony in writing plays that are both politically charged and commercially viable.
The book also features three essays written by scholars of Asian American theatre and a comprehensive list of primary and secondary sources on his oeuvre.

This comprehensive study of Hwang's work follows his career both chronologically and thematically. The first chapter analyzes Hwang's early plays, "Trilogy of Chinese America," in which he explores issues of identity and cultural assimilation particular to Chinese Americans. Chapter two looks at four plays characterised as "Beyond Chinese America," which examines Hwang's less known plays. Chapter three focuses on M. Butterfly, which received the Tony Award for Best Play in 1988. In chapter four, Lee explores Hwang's development as a playwright during the decade of the 1990s with a focus on identity politics and multiculturalism. Chapter five examines Hwang's playwriting style in depth with a discussion of Hwang's more recent plays such as Yellow Face and Chinglish. The sixth chapter features three essays written by leading scholars in Asian American theatre: Josephine Lee on Flower Drum Song, Dan Bacalzo on Golden Child, and Daphne Lei on Chinglish. The final section provides a comprehensive compilation of sources: a chronology, a bibliography of Hwang's works, reviews and critical sources.

Author Biography

Esther Kim Lee is Associate Professor of Theatre and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. She is the author of A History of Asian American Theatre and the editor of Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Making of an Asian American Playwright
Chapter 1: Trilogy of Chinese America
The Dance and the Railroads
Family Devotions
Chapter 2: Plays of the Mainstream
Rich Relations
M. Butterfly
Face Value
Golden Child
Chapter 3: Plays of Irony
Trying to Find Chinatown
Yellow Face
Chapter 4: Collaborations and Adaptations
Collaborations with Philip Glass
Peer Gynt
Tibet Through the Red Box
Flower Drum Song
Chapter 5: Performance and Critical Perspectives
Josephine Lee, "'Something Beyond and Above': David Henry Hwang's Revision of Flower Drum Song"
Dan Bacalzo, "David Henry Hwang's Golden Opportunities"
Daphne Lei, "Accessing Global Wealth through Language: Cultivating a New Taste for Chinglish"
Sean Metzger,"Fashion-able Desires in the Plays of David Henry Hwang"

Rewards Program

Reviews for The Theatre of David Henry Hwang (9781472512086)