Held in Independence, KS, at Inge's alma mater, Independence Community College, the Inge Theatre Festival annually honors a writer, or writing team, with the Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. The Inge festival will run April 18-21, 2012.
"David Henry Hwang brings a unique voice to the fabric of the American theatre," said Inge Center artistic director Peter Ellenstein. "Besides being a great dramatist, his work often gives voice to an Asian-American perspective that has been long left out of American culture."
Previous recipients include Marsha Norman, Paula Vogel, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, Christopher Durang, Sheldon Harnick, Arthur Laurence A.R. Gurney, Stephen Sondheim, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Peter Shaffer and Wendy Wasserstein.
Hwang earned the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for his Broadway debut with M. Butterfly. His additional Broadway credits include the books for the musicals Aida, Tarzan and the 2002 revival of Flower Drum Song. Hwang has collaborated with composer Philip Glass on the operas 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, The Voyage and The Sound of a Voice. His plays include Yellow Face and Golden Child. He is currently at work on the new musical Bruce Lee: Journey to the West, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek, directed by Bartlett Sher; and Pretty Dead Girl, with songs by Ann Marie Milazzo, directed by Silverman.