2023 Helen Clanton Morrin Biennial Lecture
David Henry Hwang’s stage work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida, Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. His screenplays include M. Butterfly and he is currently penning the live-action feature musical remake of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as an Anna May Wong biopic to star actress Gemma Chan. For television, he was a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair and is now creating two television series, Billion Dollar Whale for Westward/SKG and another for Netflix. Called America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written thirteen libretti, including five with composer Philip Glass. He also co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop music icon Prince.
Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, a Grammy Award winner who has been twice nominated, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. A professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, Hwang is a Trustee of the American Theatre Wing, where he served as Chair, and sits on the Council of the Dramatist Guild. Recent honors include his 2022 induction onto the Lucille Lortel Playwrights’ Sidewalk and his 2021 induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His newest musical, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori, opened in New York at the Public Theatre, where it received a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theatre Album and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
In 2016, The David Henry Hwang Society was founded by William C. Boles (Rollins College), Martha Johnson (University of Minnesota), and Esther Kim Lee (University of Maryland). The DHH Society is devoted to the scholarly examination of plays by David Henry Hwang.
Photo Credit: Actors (L-R) B. D. Wong and John Lithgow in a scene from the Broadway production of the play, "M. Butterfly." -Copyright held or managed by the New York Public Library
About the Helen Clanton Morrin Lecture Series
Helen Clanton Morrin, was a former writer, editor, public relations director and community service volunteer in St. Louis. From 1969 to 1988, Mrs. Morrin was executive director of the World Affairs Council in St. Louis. In that capacity, she was responsible for planning and directing programs, volunteer recruitment, membership, and travel. From 1934 to 1941, she was a feature writer and editor to the Globe-Democrat. After that, she was public information director for the Post-Dispatch. Some of her high-profile interviews included Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Davis, Helen Hayes, Gen. James Doolittle, and the Dalai Lama. She also did public relations work with Fleishman-Hillard Inc., St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and several others. She was a past president of the Junior League of St. Louis and served on numerous boards including Mary Institute, John Burroughs School, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the St. Louis Nanjing Sister committee.