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Programs and Events

Asian Americans: Inclusion/Exclusion Today

38 minutes 19 seconds

Recorded: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Featuring: David Henry Hwang, Huang Ruo, Agnes Hsu-Tang


In a timely conversation hosted by the New-York Historical Society, celebrated playwright and librettist David Henry Hwang and acclaimed composer Huang Ruo join New-York Historical Trustee Agnes Hsu-Tang to explore the ways they address anti-Asian and Asian American racism in their creative work.This special discussion will feature exclusive clips of performances from M. Butterfly and An American Soldier and is the first in a series of salons with leading arts and cultural figures of Asian descent. These conversations delve into critical issues in contemporary society, including Orientalism in the post-colonial world, artists as activists, and COVID-19 and resurging racism in America.


David Henry Hwang has received numerous honors for his prolific work in theater, television, film, and opera. His most recent work, the groundbreaking “musical within a play” Soft Power, was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and received many other recognitions, including 11 Drama Desk Award nominations. Huang Ruo is an award-winning composer and conductor whose works have premiered and been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, and many others. His most recent opera, a highly anticipated work based on David Henry Hwang’s iconic play M. Butterfly, was originally scheduled to receive its world premiere in August 2020 at the Santa Fe Opera. Agnes Hsu-Tang (moderator) is executive chair of the first international contemporary Asian art triennial in North America initiated by the Asia Society Museum, a managing director at the Metropolitan Opera, and a trustee of the New-York Historical Society.

Creative: Tronvig Group