David Henry Hwang Writers Institute

Named after Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (FOBThe Dance and the Railroad, M. Butterfly), the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute is the most active Asian Pacific American playwright development program in the country. Offering a series of writing classes designed to foster new work for the stage, the Institute is a nationally recognized force in the creation of plays that embrace the voice of multi-ethnic America and especially the Asian Pacific American experience.

The David Henry Hwang Writers Institute also sponsors a New Works Festival every year that highlights new works in progress by Institute writers.


Playwright David Henry Hwang


Literary Programs


“If we do not see ourselves represented, if our stories are not a mirror as to which we see our reflection, then we have a duty to be the storytellers and assert ourselves into the cultural dialogue. Thank you, East West Players, for giving minority voices the opportunity to be heard, and for instilling in me a new message that a unique voice indeed can tell a universal story.” – Nathan Ramos, “2042: See Change” Playwriting Competition Winner (2015)

East West Players has an open play-submission policy. Please be aware that we are an Asian American theatre, and most of the new works we produce revolve around Asian Pacific American (as opposed to Asian) characters and/or themes … read more

In conjunction with the Japanese American National Museum/National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, the Writers Gallery offers public readings of works that are being considered for the mainstage at East West Players. To become involved with the EWP Writer’s Gallery, please contact the Literary Department at literary@eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000.

East West Players offers playwriting competitions to encourage new works to be developed that explore the Asian American experience. Competitions occur approximately every three to six years and offer a cash prize as well as consideration for production on the East West Players mainstage. Please refer any questions or comments about upcoming playwriting competitions to the Literary Department at literary@eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000.


Instructors have included playwrights such as Doris Baizley, Prince Gomolvilas, Amy Hill, Kelly Stuart, Alice Tuan, and Brian Nelson. Guest lecturers have included playwrights such as Philip Kan Gotanda, Wakako Yamauchi, Chay Yew, and David Henry Hwang. One-act and full-length plays of all genres are created by writers in the Institute.

Countless works by Institute alumni have been read, developed, and produced by theatres around the country, and EWP writers have gone on to win many awards and fellowships after their time at the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute. Click here for a list of some recent highlights of the Institute.


Learn more about our instructors.

Doris-BaizleyDoris Baizley is a founding member of LA Theaterworks. Her plays Mrs. California, Shiloh Rules, Tears of Rage, and A Christmas Carol have been produced in many U.S. regional theaters including the Mark Taper Forum, ACT Seattle, and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Her play Sex Sting (winner of a Guthrie Theatre/Playwrights Center commission) received its Los Angeles premiere in 2013 at the Skylight Theater where it was listed as one of the best of the year and was nominated for an LA Weekly Award for Playwriting. She is a story consultant for documentary films and adjunct professor of theatre arts at Loyola Marymount University.

100x151_prince_gomolvilasPrince Gomolvilas is a Thai-American playwright. His plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, The Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, all of which have been produced by East West Players. His work has also been staged around United States, as well as in Canada, Singapore, and the U.K, He has received new-play commissions from South Coast Repertory and TheatreWorks, and he has had his work developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, The Lark Theatre Company, and Ma-Yi Theatre Company. He received the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild/Julie Harris Playwright Award, International Herald Tribune/SRT Playwriting Award, PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Drama, and East West Players’ Made in America Award. He received his MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University. He is the Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he is also an Assistant Professor in Writing.


The David Henry Hwang Writer’s Institute provides a limited number of scholarships. For more information about the application process, please contact the Literary Department at literary@eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000.

Our Classes

Join the most active Asian Pacific American playwright development program in the country, which has nurtured works read and produced at theatres nation-wide. Classes meet in downtown Los Angeles.

You can find the current class schedule offered by the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute below.

Instruction with Doris Baizley
Dates: January 28 through April 29, 2017
Saturdays from 10AM-2PM  (No class on 2/11, 3/11 and 4/15; subject to change)
Fee: $550 (ACTS members $525)
Location: St. Frances Xavier Chapel

This new-play development workshop gives playwrights the opportunity to work intensively on revising a full-length play and bringing it to completion–the goal being a polished script ready for submission to theaters, festivals, and contests. The workshop features weekly lessons on different aspects of the rewriting process, writing exercises to help lead playwrights into a deeper understanding of their work, reading assignments of relevant plays by well-known authors, and group outings to play productions around town. Aside from weekly monitoring of each playwright’s progress, each playwright will also have class time dedicated to receiving comprehensive notes on two different drafts of his or her play. Directed feedback sessions will help playwrights realize their own unique vision and voice; equally important is participating in each other’s feedback sessions, as all the playwrights will find common ground in the issues that concern them during the rewriting phase.

Enrollment is by application only, and the workshop is limited.


  • You must have a completed draft of a full-length play by the time the workshop begins.
  • You must commit to attending all sessions of the workshop (with few exceptions under some circumstances).
  • You must agree to complete all reading assignments. Aside from reading the work of classmates, an additional 4 to 6 plays will be required reading during the course of the semester.
  • You must agree to attend all play field trips. Playwrights will go to see 2 to 3 plays during the course of the semester.


  • A brief one-paragraph synopsis of your play.
  • A brief explanation of why this workshop sounds right for you.
  • A PDF version of the first 10 pages of your play.
  • E-mail these items to literary@eastwestplayers.org by Monday, January 2, 2017.

*Fifty percent (50%) of class fees are required to reserve a space in the course if you are accepted. The balance is due by the first class.  

Questions? Contact the Literary Department at literary@eastwestplayers.org.