The award, which is monetarily the largest in the American theatre, is awarded every other year. Previous recipients include Tony Kushner and Lynn Nottage.
Hwang told the Times that the prize has allowed him to turn down TV and film work so that he can focus on various stage projects, explaining, "This award literally buys me time to focus mostly on my theater work. Even if you’re lucky to have a play on Broadway like Chinglish, you don’t necessarily earn enough off it to support the years it takes to get there."
His current projects include Signature Theatre Company's 2013 production of his newest work, Kung Fu; rewrites on his 1998 play Golden Child; possible London and Broadway revivals of his Tony-winning M. Butterfly; and a screenplay adaptation of Chinglish, which will be directed by Justin Lin.