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David Henry Hwang Holds Virtual Master Class for Park Community School

May 26 2021

Thank you to playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and theater professor David Henry Hwang for joining the Park community in conversation last night, and leading a writing workshop for our students! This American Theatre Wing event, moderated by Upper School English teacher Angela Balcita, was made possible by the generosity of Jeffrey Legum ’59. 

David Henry Hwang, a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Hwang’s stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also the most-produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop icon Prince, and worked from 2015-2019 as a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. He is currently writing the live-action musical feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Disney Studios and a movie to star actress Gemma Chan. Hwang serves as Chair of the American Theatre Wing, serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center, and as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. His newest work, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), premiered at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre, where it won six Ovation Awards. Its subsequent run at the Public Theatre in NYC received four Outer Critics Honors, eleven Drama Desk Nominations, and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

The evening included an interview with Hwang about his professional path, a live playwriting workshop with a group of Park School students, and a Q&A session with attendees from the Park community. 

The Master Class is being provided by the American Theatre Wing (ATW), thanks to a generous donation from Jeffrey Legum ‘59, a longtime member and supporter of ATW. A not-for-profit organization with a powerful suite of programs, ATW addresses all aspects of the national theatre ecology. ATW encourages the discovery of theatre by people of all ages, nurtures talent on stage and off, creates pathways for success for students and young professionals, and encourages the development of the art form itself by recognizing and supporting innovative and excellent work with awards and grants. Building a just, equitable and inclusive American theatre is a guiding principle of all of ATW’s work and programs. Learn more at www.americantheatrewing.org.

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