Podcast Episode #44: Tony Award-Winning Playwright, David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang can write anything.

Actually, let me amend that statement.

David Henry Hwang can write anything . . . exceptionally well.

A Tony Award winner for his breakout play M. Butterfly (which just may be ready for a revival, as you’ll hear him say), David has written plays, musicals, television, opera and more.  He’s terrific proof that if you’re a master story teller, you can adapt that skill to any medium (focus on the fundamentals, kids).

David shared what it takes to work in all those different mediums and a whole bunch of other stories about working in our biz like:

  • What it was like to have his first play premiere at The Public.
  • How the first time he heard M. Butterfly read out loud was at the first rehearsal for the Broadway production!
  • What we can do better to encourage more diversity on and off our stages.
  • Why there wasn’t an opening night party for M. Butterfly.
  • How the development of new plays has changed . . . and whether that’s for the better.

There’s a whole lot more packed into this episode, including talk of Flower Drum Song and Chinglish and advice for writers looking for their big break, so listen in and learn from someone who has been called one of “America’s greatest living playwrights.”

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.