Award-winning playwright performing at Seton Hall

Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will perform in Seton Hall Arts Council’s program, Poetry in the Round, on Feb. 9 in the Walsh Library.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and is free for students and the public.

David Henry Hwang was born in Los Angeles, Calif. on Aug. 11, 1957 to Chinese immigrant parents. Hwang received his B.A. in English at Stanford University. He taught high school writing for some time and then eventually enrolled in the drama school at Yale University. Hwang did not complete his degree, however, because he moved to New York City to experience professional theater.

His first written and produced play was “FOB” in 1980. The play, which stands for “fresh off the boat,” won an award for best new play of the season. The play centers around a Chinese immigrant’s relationship with two Chinese-American students from Los Angeles and the conflicts that arise trying to adapt to the American culture and way of life.

Other plays by Hwang include “Family Devotions” (1981), “The House of Sleeping Beauties” (1983) and “The Sound of a Voice” (1983). These plays embody the reoccurring themes of Chinese immigration and assimilation in America.

Hwang’s breakout play was 1988’s “M. Butterfly.” The play was not only produced on Broadway but also received many awards, including The Outer Critics Award for Best New Play and the Tony Award for Best Play of the Year.

Aside from playwriting, Hwang also co-wrote the song “SOLO,” which appeared on the album, “Come” by Prince. He also served on the Arts and Humanities Committee of former president Bill Clinton from 1996 through 2001.

To this day, critics say that David Henry Hwang is one of the most talented playwrights in the United States. Many of his plays, most popularly “M. Butterfly,” have been performed throughout theaters around the world.

Poetry in the Round will feature author Eve Grubin on Mar. 4 and author Sherod Santos on Mar. 23.

Amanda Monteleone can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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