The Theatre of David Henry Hwang [ePub]

by Esther Kim Lee

Since the premiere of his play FOB in 1980, the Chinese American playwright David Henry Hwang has made a significant impact in the U. S. and beyond. The Theatre of David Henry Hwang is the first book to provide an in-depth study of his plays and other works in theatre.

Beginning with his "Trilogy of Chinese America" written in the early 1980s, Esther Kim Lee traces all major phases of his playwriting career. Utilizing historical and dramaturgical analysis, she argues that Hwang has developed a unique style of meta-theatricality and irony in writing plays that are both politically charged and commercially viable.

The book also features four essays written by scholars of Asian American theatre and a comprehensive list of primary and secondary sources on his oeuvre.

This comprehensive study of Hwang's work follows his career both chronologically and thematically. The first chapter analyzes Hwang's early plays, "Trilogy of Chinese America," in which he explores issues of identity and cultural assimilation particular to Chinese Americans. Chapter two looks at four plays characterised as "Plays for the Mainstream," where it is argued that Hwang has developed a unique dramaturgical style of meta-theatricality and irony to both critique and deconstruct culturally accepted norms. Chapter three explores his style in depth with a discussion of Hwang's more recent plays such as Yellow Face and Chinglish. The fourth chapter examines Hwang's work in opera, musicals with particular attention paid to Flower Drum Song, a musical by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, II, and Joseph Fields. The final section provides a comprehensive compilation of sources: a glossary of terms, a list of Hwang's works, reviews and archives, and a bibliography.



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