David Henry Hwang and Adam Gwon Are New Dramatists Guild Council Members

The Dramatists Guild of America has welcomed Adam Gwon and David Henry Hwang to its Council. The Guild is governed by a board of directors (Council) elected from its membership. These writers, in various stages of their theatrical careers, meet monthly to decide policy for the Guild.

“We are thrilled to welcome Adam Gwon onto Council and David Henry Hwang back onto Council,” shared DG President Amanda Green in a statement. “They are both longtime Guild members: David joined in 1979, was first elected to Council 10 years later and stepped down in 2014. Adam has been a member for 16 years, was a DG Fellow, has taught several semesters of lyric writing for The Dramatists Guild Institute and for the past 9 years has served on The Dramatist Committee. David and Adam’s illustrious careers, years of service to The Guild, and dedication to improving the lives of writers make them both wonderful additions to the Council.”

The Dramatists Guild Council is led by four officers, who are elected from within the Council ranks. The current slate of officers is comprised of Amanda Green (President), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Vice President), Kristoffer Diaz (Secretary) and Christine Toy Johnson (Treasurer).

The Guild is also led by a staff of twenty, which is headed by two Executive Directors. Emmanuel Wilson has recently taken on the role of Executive Director of Creative Affairs and Membership, becoming the first Black Executive Director in the history of the Guild. Tari Stratton has also taken on a new role at the Guild, as Director of the Dramatists Guild Institute.

The Dramatists Guild congratulates its two new Council members and the two Guild staff members who have recently been promoted into leadership positions. The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theatre writers including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists.

The Guild was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work. We believe that a vibrant, vital, and provocative theatre is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society; and that if such a theatre is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of the men, women, trans and non-binary artists who write for it must be cultivated and protected.

Adam Gwon is a composer and lyricist whose musicals have been produced on six continents, in more than half-a-dozen languages. Off-Broadway: Scotland, PA (Roundabout Theatre – Drama Desk nomination, NYT Critic’s Pick), Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre, Keen Company revival – Drama League Award nomination), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre, NYT Critic’s Pick); Regional: String (Village Theatre), Cake Off (Signature Theatre – Helen Hayes Award nomination, Bucks County Playhouse), Cloudlands (South Coast Rep), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); West End: Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios).

Pandemic-era projects include Pittsburgh Playhouse’s film/theater hybrid Ordinary Days with Emmy-winning production designer Jason Ardizzone-West, The Waves in Quarantine with Lisa Peterson and Raúl Esparza for Berkeley Rep, and “I Am Here,” a music video saluting Asian Americans on Broadway, featured on CBS, PBS, and Playbill.com. Adam’s songs have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian d’Arcy James. His honors include the Kleban, Ebb, Loewe, and Richard Rodgers Awards, Second Stage Theatre’s Donna Perret Rosen Award, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and MAC John Wallowitch Award, and commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Keen Company, the Kimmel Center, and Broadway Across America. Recordings include: Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (Nonesuch), The Essential Liz Callaway (Working Girl Records), Artists in Residence (Broadway Records), and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album (Entertainment One).

Adam has been a fellow at MacDowell, Hermitage Artist Retreat, the O’Neill Music Theater Conference, and the Dramatists Guild. He is a Lecturer in the theater program at Princeton University and sits on the Boards of Roundabout Theatre Company and Primary Stages.

David Henry Hwang’s stage works include the plays M. Butterfly, Yellow Face, Chinglish, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner (M. Butterfly) and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner (FOB, Golden Child, and Yellow Face), a Grammy Award winner (Ainadamar) who has been twice nominated, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face, and Soft Power).

Called America’s most-produced living opera librettist by Opera News, he has written twelve operas to date, including five works with composer Philip Glass; their most recent collaboration, Circus Days and Nights, premiered at Sweden’s Malmö Opera in 2021. Hwang has also worked with composers Bright Sheng, Unsuk Chin, and Howard Shore, among others and is a 2006 Grammy Award winner for Ainadamar with music by Osvaldo Golijov. He co- wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop icon Prince and was a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair” from 2015 – 2019.

Hwang is currently creating a TV series for Netflix and penning the live-action musical feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Disney Studios as well as a screenplay for Working Title Pictures to star actress Gemma Chan. Hwang’s most recent musical Soft Power, written with composer Jeanine Tesori, opened in 2018 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. It transferred in 2019 to The Public Theatre, where it received four 2020 Outer Critics Honors, a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theatre Album, and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Hwang and Tesori are currently working on a post-2020 version for an upcoming commercial production.

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