It's OK to be Wrong and/or It's OK to be Hwang
Presentations of idiosyncratic history pageants with a sense of humor and musicality
A Creative Soul, Successful Playwright, Screenwriter and Librettist with All the Work He can Handle
RECOGNITION OF TALENTED APA ARTISTS
DAVID HENRY HWANG: Absolutely.
US ASIANS: Recognizing that on April 8, 1990, Lea Salonga became the first Asian actor to win a Laurence Olivier Award for "Best Actress in a Musical Performance" - why do think that it took so long and do you feel that you are a role model for other Asian/Asian Pacific American actors?
DAVID HENRY HWANG: Many things in the stars have to align correctly to produce a breakthrough performance that is recognized as such by critics and the public. Yes, there were very few opportunities for Asian actors to take a leading role in a musical prior to "Saigon," and certainly not in a show that ended up becoming such a major hit.
US ASIANS: Regarding your views that there shouldn't be "minority roles" - wouldn't it be wonderful to have theatrical productions based on the many stories from the broad spectrum of ethnic communities (that include the many Asian Pacific American communities) that reside within the United States?
US ASIANS: Recognizing that "To create something new, you must first love what is old" - whom with the Asian/Asian Pacific American theatrical scene do you feel will be creating something new and exciting that will represents the entire multi-ethnic communities?
DAVID HENRY HWANG: I'm not sure who specifically will achieve this, but I do believe that Chay Yew has his finger more on the pulse of current APA theatre than probably anyone else in the country.
US ASIANS: What are your criteria of the event and/or organization that would be major factors in your decision of which organizations to support or participate such as East West Players, etc.?
DAVID HENRY HWANG: Most all of these organizations are worthwhile, it's merely an issue of my time and resource limitations.
US ASIANS: As an extension of your commitment to the recognition of the best that are artists of Asian descent in the entertainment industry, which people have provided you with the greatest joy as the result of their success?
DAVID HENRY HWANG: Ang Lee, especially "Crouching Tiger" and "Brokeback;" "Better Luck Tomorrow;" Joan Chen, especially "Xiu Xiu;" John Woo, especially the HK movies; Chow Yun-Fat; Jin; and (a guilty pleasure) "Mulan."
US ASIANS: What are your thoughts on the success of fast-rising and prominent Asian/Asian Pacific American executives such as
DAVID HENRY HWANG: It's certainly fantastic that so many APA executives are moving up. Let's not forget, though, that Chris Lee was once President of Production at Tri-Star, and other pioneers such as Bonni Lee and Teddy Zee.
DAVID HENRY HWANG: While all of these organizations are important, I think the community is still evolving and that only recently has the APA presence in entertainment achieved sufficient momentum to really support a range of awards. Eventually, I think the number of award ceremonies will cull down, and that maybe two or three will remain and establish themselves as the dominant events for recognizing achievement in our community.
US ASIANS: Which award was the most rewarding - career-wise and/or brought wide-spread recognition within the general public?
DAVID HENRY HWANG: I don't think any of these awards at this point bring wide-spread recognition within the general public, although one has recently generated controversy by being derided on a radio talk show, which I suppose is one way of achieving visibility! Eventually, however, some award will be generally recognized, as are the GLAAD Awards.
US ASIANS: What new directions do you hope that Asian Pacific American theatre organizations such as 2nd Generation, East West Players, Lodestone Theater Group, etc. would pursue in the near future?
DAVID HENRY HWANG: I think there's a vast untapped yet accomplished body of South Asian work from Britain which should be produced in the US, and might even attract an audience.