YELLOWFACE, by David Henry Hwang - a comedy

  • July 7, 2013 · 3:00 PM
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Yellow Face (2007) is a play by David Henry Hwang, featuring the author himself as the protagonist. It premiered in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in association with East West Players and had its Off-Broadway premiere at the Joseph Papp Public Theater.

Mixing fact and fiction, Yellow Face is partly autobiographical, with the character Hwang putting on Hwang's play, Face ValueYellow Face is a satire that raises deep questions of what race really means, how politics and media function in society, what America really stands for, the importance of both fact and fiction, and who we are. Mr. Hwang talks about Yellow Face at this event.

In 2008, it was revealed that Yellow Face gave Hwang his third Obie Award in Playwriting and made him a third-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama


FACT: When the musical Miss Saigon transferred from London to New York City, there was a controversy over the casting of Jonathan Pryce, a white British actor, in an Asian role. Although Hwang receives a lot of publicity about his protests against the casting, particularly as the first Asian-American playwright to win a Tony (for M. Butterfly), the production of Miss Saigon continues without changes to the cast.

FICTION IN THE PLAY: In the play Yellow Face, the character Hwang accidentally casts a white man, Marcus G. Dahlman, as an Asian in one of the leading roles of his play, Face Value. Comedy ensues as Hwang is first convinced and then tries to convince other people that Marcus has Asian ancestry as a Jew from Siberia. Hwang realizes that Marcus has no Asian blood, but by then, Face Value has cost $2 million and Hwang tries to cover up his mistake. Marcus, however, continues playing his role as an Asian in all parts of his life, becoming an activist for Asian rights, angering Hwang who views him as an "ethnic tourist."

As Marcus' true identity reveals him as Caucasian,  Hwang finally has to come clean about Marcus, and about himself.








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  • margaret R

    Hi All,
    Anyone interested in going to see SF mime Troupe at Cedar Rose park on Sunday? 1:30 music, show @ 2. My #[masked] or just come.
    Susan and I will be there. Hope to see you, Margaret

    July 12, 2013

  • Paul

    Lots of laughs and a rich discussion afterward.

    July 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have an audition Sunday night!

    July 6, 2013

  • Frances

    Hi Susan and Jeff, question for you: if BART continues to be on strike I will end up canceling. Would you prefer me to cancel now to provide certainty?

    July 4, 2013

    • Frances

      Yay!!!!!!! no more BART strike, see you Sun!!

      July 5, 2013

  • Catherine D.

    I am sorry I won't be available 7/7. I am changing to the second reading

    July 4, 2013

  • Carole

    I'd like a script, as usual, please.
    I noticed while reviewing the casting list that some words are missing from my character's description. It reads: Jane Krakowski (in the cast of..............Face Value. If it's of no importance, we can let it go.

    July 2, 2013

  • David C. M.

    It looks my earlier RSVP didn't go through, but I;ll be there w/ Elizabeth.

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you!

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    hope to make it next time

    July 1, 2013

  • B'Tee

    I do believe I can make this one and I am looking forward to it.

    June 28, 2013

  • sheryl

    I'll see you at the second reading. : )

    June 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I have to change my RSVP. I have to work this Sunday. I hope this gives you enough time to find someone else to read.

    June 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    a last minite travel need came up. I plan to be back by july 7 but will not have time to prepare with the schedule I have. I know preparation is important tp susan and jeff so i'll let someone with more time take the spot

    June 15, 2013

  • Karen D.

    I will most likely be out-of-town or driving home from L.A. that day, so I wanted to give up my spot to someone else.

    June 14, 2013

  • zee

    Switching dates-

    May 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm also new, and this seemed like a good play to get in on.

    May 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This will be a first for me. I can read or kibitz. Thank you for letting me come to your group.

    May 27, 2013

  • Wendy B.

    I plan to come.

    March 9, 2013

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