Hwang was born in Los Angeles to Chinese parents, and grew up as a “real” American. He later said that as a boy he considered his Chinese roots “a minor detail, like having red hair.”
It was only after graduating from Stanford University that he felt the need to explore the challenges faced by his parents’ generation and his own. The result has been a body of work that includes the Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly, FOB, which won an Obie, and Yellow Face.
Hwang spoke about his life and work, and the challenges of handling diversity issues in art.