Leigh Silverman

Kung Fu by David Hwang

Kung Fu is a depiction of international martial arts star Bruce Lee, and his journey from troubled youth to martial arts legend.  Kung Fu follows Lee as he struggles to prove himself as a fighter, a husband, a father, and a man. The play blends dance, Chinese opera, martial arts and drama into a bold theatrical experience.

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Chinglish by David Hwang

Chinglish follows a Midwestern American businessman as he travels to China, desperate to score a lucrative contact for his family's firm,  only to discover how much he doesn't understand. Named for the unique and often comical third language that evolves from attempts to translate Chinese signs into English, Chinglish explores the challenges of doing business in a culture whose language—and ways of communicating—are worlds apart from our own. 

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Yellow Face by David Hwang

Yellow Face  at the Public Theatre. Photo by Michal Daniel

Yellow Face at the Public Theatre. Photo by Michal Daniel

Inspired by the 1990s Broadway controversy over the “yellow face” casting of Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce as a Eurasian pimp in the musical Miss Saigon, Yellow Face spins a comic fantasy in which Asian American playwright DHH pens a play in protest, then unwittingly casts a white actor as the Asian lead in his own play.

Yellow Face premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2007, directed by Leigh Silverman, then moved to the Public Theater. It won a 2008 Obie Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It premiered in London at the Park Theatre in 2013, in a production directed by Alex Sims, which transferred to the National Theatre in 2014.

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Production photos of Yellow Face at the Public Theatre in 2007. Photos by Michal Daniel

Production photos from Yellow Face at the Silk Road Rising. Photos by Michael Brosilow

Golden Child by David Hwang

Jennifer Lim, Annie Q, Julyana Soelistyo, and Leslie Hu. Photo by Richard Termin, Signature Theater Production, 2012

Jennifer Lim, Annie Q, Julyana Soelistyo, and Leslie Hu. Photo by Richard Termin, Signature Theater Production, 2012

Drawn from stories told to Hwang as a child by his grandmother about their family history, Golden Child tells of a wealthy and polygamous Chinese merchant in 1918, who embraces the new religion of Christianity. In so doing, he sets off a power struggle between his three wives, and forever changes the lives of his succeeding generations.

Golden Child premiered at the Public Theater in 1996, directed by James Lapine, and won a 1997 Obie Award for Playwriting, then moved in 1998 to Broadway, where it received a Tony Nomination for Best Play. It was revived at Signature Theatre in 2012, directed by Leigh Silverman.

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Production photos from the Golden Child at Signature Theatre in 2012. Photos by Richard Termin

 

Photos by Michal Daniels, from The Public Theater production in 1996.