David Henry Hwang wins $200k US playwriting award

Michael Quinn

The Tony Award-winning American playwright and librettist David Henry Hwang has been announced as the recipient of theatre’s richest prize, the biennial $200,000 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.

The award was established in 2008 to “to honour and encourage the artistic excellence and achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theatre”. M Butterfly author Hwang was recognised for a body of work that includes two Pulitzer Prize nominations, the books for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida and the 2002 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, as well as librettos for operas by Philip Glass, Howard Shore and Unsuk Chin.

Hwang is currently in discussions with Sonia Friedman about a London revival of M Butterfly and is working on a new play based on the life of Kung Fu icon Bruce Lee for off-Broadway in 2013.

Previous recipients of the award include Tony Kushner and Lynn Nottage.

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