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.

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Playwright David Henry Hwang

Faculty & Works

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.

Learn more about our instructors. 

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Prince Gomolvilas’s plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ LoveThe Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, all of which have been produced by East West Players. The Theory of Everything won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama, and was published by Dramatic Publishing. His work has been staged across the United States, as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Thailand. His new play, The Brothers Paranormal, will receive its world premiere at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in New York City in 2019, followed by a co-production between Penumbra Theatre and Theatre Mu in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has received new-play commissions from Geva Theatre Center and South Coast Repertory, as well as from the education departments at the Alley Theatre and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. He received his BA in Film and MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University. He is the former Associate Director of the multidisciplinary Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he was also an Assistant Professor in Writing. www.princegomolvilas.com

Alice Tuan is best known for Ajax (por nobody), which premiered at The Flea Theater in New York City, toured at the Melbourne Fringe, and was produced at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival. Her other plays include Hit (The Los Angeles Theatre Center), BATCH (Humana), Last of the Suns (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater Company), Roaring Girle (The Foundry Theatre), Ikebana (World Premiere at East West Players; Taper, Too; Dramalogue Award), and Coastline (Serious Play!, Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Four of these plays are archived in the Billy Rose Collection of the New York Public Library. She is currently commissioned by Yale Rep/Binger Centre for New Theater.

Doris Baizley, playwright, lives in Los Angeles where she teaches at Loyola Marymount University. She was a founding member of LA Theater Works, resident playwright for the Mark Taper Forum’s ITP company for young audiences and dramaturg for its Other Voices Project for theater artists with disabilities. Published  include MRS. CALIFORNIA, SHILOH RULES, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and SEX STING, developed and produced by many US  theaters, including the Mark Taper Forum, ACT Seattle, Salt Lake Acting Company, and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Movies UNTIL SHE TALKS and LAND OF LITTLE RAIN were on PBS’s American Playhouse.  She is currently at work on SISTERS OF PEACE, a new play for The History Theatre in St. Paul MN to open in March 2019.

Giovanni Ortega is a multi-disciplinary artist who considers East West Players (EWP) his artistic home, where his commissioned works from EWP include Criers for Hire and ALLOS, the Story of Carlos Bulosan. Last year, Center Theatre Group and Artists at Play presented an updated version of the Allos which was performed in several libraries in East Los Angeles. ALLOS has been performed globally since 2012. Criers for Hire has been presented in Chicago, Hawaii and Sydney (Blacktown Arts Centre). In 2016 he started The Body Series with Singaporean women at the Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity (HCAC). The devised theatrical plays includeCreation of My Body, Words of My Body and Thoughts of My Body. This group of artists created content that interrogates misogynistic perceptions, racial and the class division within the country. In addition, the National Poetry Festival Singapore commissioned Ranice Tay, a Sinagporean artist and Giovanni to write and perform a piece Benches, a story that deals with ancestral loss. He is also returning for this year’s festival with Palindromes, a play with music that focuses on the immigrant and indigenous aspects of society. Furthermore, Giovanni has been traveling to Australia to work with theatre and community organizations. What started out as a resident scholar position in Playwriting Australia’s National Play Festival has expanded to devising and facilitating writing/performative workshops such as Creation of My Body (Brisbane), Katawan (Sydney) and Canvas of My Body at the National Theatre of Parramatta. Additional works include: Ang Diwata ng Bundok Banahaw – Goddess of Mt. Banahaw, El Pescador and La Lluvia – The Fisherman and the Rainand Fugaz de La Piel Canela – Fleeting Cinnamon Skin. Lastly, he is the author of Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio (Undeniables) and Ang Gitano, The Gypsy (Carayan Press). Giovanni is an Assistant Professor in Pomona College Department of Theatre for the Claremont Colleges.

Scholarships

The David Henry Hwang Writer’s Institute provides a limited number of scholarships. For more information about the application process, please contact Jade Cagalawan at jcagalawan@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.

All current classes offered by the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute listed below.

CLASS DETAILS

Craft the Second Draft: Fine Tuning the Play with Giovanni Ortega

Dates: October 29 – December 10, 2019 (No class on November 26)

Tuesdays from 7PM-10PM

Fee: $450

Location: 1210 E 28th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011

This 6 week writing workshop is geared for the playwright to enhance their concept through different methodologies that ranges from reworking the play, reflective practice, collaborative analysis, various writing exercises, dramaturgical discussions and character development. There are concepts that need to be ironed out of your script before you send it off for possibilities of production. It takes skill to look at one’s play from a critical angle but once this is developed, it will only serve to support the story and future writing. This intensive will explore the work in progress and the changes that will occur along the way. We will peel the layers of what’s been written and unearth the story’s authenticity. This workshop will continuously nurture your artistic voice as a writer and an artist.

Maximum of 10 students.

GIOVANNI ORTEGA BIO

Giovanni Ortega (SDC) is a multi-disciplinary artist who considers East West Players (EWP) his artistic home, where his commissioned works from EWP include Criers for Hire and ALLOS, the Story of Carlos Bulosan. Last year, Center Theatre Group and Artists at Play presented an updated version of the Allos which was performed in several libraries in East Los Angeles. ALLOS has been performed globally since 2012. Criers for Hire has been presented in Chicago, Hawaii and Sydney (Blacktown Arts Centre). In 2016 he started The Body Series with Singaporean women at the Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity (HCAC). The devised theatrical plays includeCreation of My Body, Words of My Body and Thoughts of My Body. This group of artists created content that interrogates misogynistic perceptions, racial and the class division within the country. In addition, the National Poetry Festival Singapore commissioned Ranice Tay, a Sinagporean artist and Giovanni to write and perform a piece Benches, a story that deals with ancestral loss. He is also returning for this year’s festival with Palindromes, a play with music that focuses on the immigrant and indigenous aspects of society. Furthermore, Giovanni has been traveling to Australia to work with theatre and community organizations. What started out as a resident scholar position in Playwriting Australia’s National Play Festival has expanded to devising and facilitating writing/performative workshops such as Creation of My Body (Brisbane), Katawan (Sydney) and Canvas of My Body at the National Theatre of Parramatta. Additional works include: Ang Diwata ng Bundok Banahaw – Goddess of Mt. Banahaw, El Pescador and La Lluvia – The Fisherman and the Rain and Fugaz de La Piel CanelaFleeting Cinnamon Skin. Lastly, he is the author of Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio (Undeniables) and Ang Gitano, The Gypsy (Carayan Press). Giovanni is an Assistant Professor in Pomona College Department of Theatre for the Claremont Colleges.

ENROLLMENT INSTRUCTIONS

To enroll in the course please email jcagalawan@eastwestplayers.org with the following information:

1. 2-3 sentences of what idea, piece, etc you would like to develop in the course.
2. If it’s a work in progress, any scenes or pages you have already, you may also provide a synopsis of no more than one page. If all you have is an idea, any links to research or inspiration for the work you have is sufficient.

Application fees & scholarships/work-study:

Fifty percent (50%) of the class fees are required to reserve a spot in the course (if paying online, only the full amount is accepted). The balance is due the first class. Limited scholarships/work-study opportunities are available. To set up the 2 payments or inquire about scholarships/work-study, please email literary@eastwestplayers.org.

No refunds once the class has started. You may cancel up to 3 days before the class starts. Questions? Email jcagalawan@eastwestplayers.org