Published : Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | 8:42 PM
The lines between truth and fiction blur with hilarious and moving results in David Henry Hwang’s unreliable memoir. Asian-American playwright DHH, fresh off his Tony award win for M. Butterfly, leads a protest against the casting of Jonathan Pryce as the Eurasian pimp in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon, condemning the practice as “yellowface.” His position soon comes back to haunt him when he mistakes a Caucasian actor, Marcus G. Dahlman, for mixed-race, and casts him in the lead Asian role of his own Broadway-bound comedy, Face Value. When DHH discovers the truth of Marcus’ ethnicity, he tries to conceal his blunder to protect his reputation as an Asian-American role model, by passing the actor off as a “Siberian Jew.” Meanwhile, DHH’s father, Henry Y. Hwang, an immigrant who loves the American Dream and Frank Sinatra, finds himself ensnared in the same web of late-1990′s anti-Chinese paranoia that also leads to the “Donorgate” scandal and the arrest of Los alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee. as he clings to his old multicultural rhetoric, this new racist witch hunt forces DHH to confront the complex and ever-changing role that “face” plays in American life today.
Playwright David Henry Hwang is the author of 35 plays. His Broadway credits include Chinglish, M. Butterfly, Golden Child, Face Value, and the books for the musicals Tarzan, Flower Drum Song, and Aida. Yellow Face, which opened off-Broadway in 2007, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2018, David Henry Hwang was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Drew Barr directs the reading of Yellow Face. He has directed productions of new, modern, and classical plays and musicals for theaters across the United States and around the world. He directed the Dutch-language premiere of the National Theatre of London’s War Horse, which opened at Amsterdam’s Royal Carré Theatre before a year-long tour of the Netherlands and Belgium. For the National Theatre, he also directed the Australian premiere of War Horse, which ran in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. He was the Resident Director for War Horse on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater. Also on Broadway, Drew served as associate director for Nicholas Hytner’s productions of Sweet Smell of Success and Twelfth Night, as well as for Simon McBurney’s acclaimed revival of All My Sons by Arthur Miller, starring John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson and Katie Holmes. Drew was associate director and dramaturg for Simon McBurney’s production of The Kid Stays in the Picture at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
“It’s a peach of a play, using theatre as a metaphor for life and exploring the implications of being racially hyphenated. “—The Guardian
The Off The Page series is produced for Sierra Madre Playhouse by Artistic Director Christian Lebano and coordinated by Roxanne Barker.
Yellow Face will be performed on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Sierra Madre Playhouse (87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre). This is just east of Pasadena. Parking is available on the street and in free lots behind the Playhouse and across the street. Suggested donation: Five dollars. Reservations: www.sierramadreplayhouse.org. Phone: (626) 355-4318.
Reservations are strongly suggested due to the success of the Off the Page staged reading series, thanks to its loyal group of fans. Reserve online early to assure your seating.