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

M. Butterfly by David Hwang

M. Butterfly is inspired by a true story of a French diplomat who carried on a twenty-year affair with a Chinese actor and opera singer, without realizing the true gender of his lover. French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Shi Pei Pu, a Peking opera singer lived together for decades before Shi Pei Pu was discovered to be a Chinese spy and Boursicot was charged with treason.

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