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.


100x151_prince_gomolvilasPrince Gomolvilas’ 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 been staged across the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Singapore. 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. His new play, The Brothers Paranormal, a comedy/horror/tragedy about Thai-American ghost hunters, is scheduled to premiere in New York during the 2018-2019 season. 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 former Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he was also an Assistant Professor in Writing. He’s been blogging at Bamboo Nation for more than ten years. www.bamboo-nation.com


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 theaters nationwide. Classes meet in Downtown Los Angeles.

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

Instruction with Prince Gomolvilas
Dates: July 27, 2017 – August 31, 2017
Thursdays from 7PM-10PM
Fee: $325 (ACTS members $300)
Location: East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Full-length plays can take years to write and, on top of that, can take years to get produced. That’s why many playwrights have found inspiration, comfort, and success in short forms. With national programs like the Humana Festival’s annual showcase of ten-minute plays and the One-Minute Play Festival, as well as local programs like PlayGround-LA, playwrights have been able to write and stage their work within shorter timeframes and hone their art and craft in ways that eventually serve their longer pieces. This six-week workshop for both new and seasoned playwrights is an intensive that will have students reading and writing a number of shorts plays of varying lengths. Students will learn the difference between writing in short forms vs. writing in long forms; how to craft a narrative and characters that feel full even within less stage time; what it means to write with passion and purpose; and where to submit their work for maximum reach.

Limited to 12 students.

In our effort to provide the API talent community accessibility to industry professionals, East West Players is happy to announce our partnership with ABC Casting!

As part of this six-week workshop, we have arranged for an ABC Casting representative visit the class for scene submissions. Students of “Perfecting the Short Play: Flash Plays, Ten-Minute Plays, and One-Acts” have the opportunity to submit their work to ABC Discovers: Talent Showcase.



  • This course is for all levels of writers. There are no requirements or prerequisites to enroll.

*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. Please call (213) 625-7000 for payment options.

If you have questions, please call (213) 625-7000 from Mon-Fri, 10AM-6PM.