Before the Ink Dries

A Special TheatreWorks Fundraiser with David Henry Hwang and Rajiv Joseph

FRIday, August 11

Celebrate the launch of our 20th Anniversary New Works Festival with dinner, drinks, and backstage dish from two of America’s most fascinating contemporary playwrights! Kick off the festivities by visiting our open bar and trying out our brand-new signature New Works cocktail; then take your seat to dine with Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang, Obie Award-winner Rajiv Joseph, and all the writers featured in this year’s festival. You’ll eat delicious food furnished by top local chefs and be the very first to hear the announcement of our newest Fairbrook Commission!


After dinner, David and Rajiv will head to the stage of the Lucie Stern Theatre to reveal their play-writing secrets, tease what’s next in their careers, and share behind-the-scenes stories of their iconic work on Broadway and beyond. To close things out, join us in the courtyard to toast David Henry Hwang’s birthday with cupcakes for all!


Tony and Obie Award-winner David Henry Hwang is the author of dozens of plays, musicals, and operas, including M. Butterfly and Yellow Face, which have both been produced on TheatreWorks’ mainstage. He recently wrote the book and lyrics for the Off-Broadway musical hit Soft Power with composer Jeanine Tesori. Playwright Rajiv Joseph won an Obie Award for his work on Describe the Night, which premiered at our 2014 New Works Festival; he also penned The North Pool, The Lake Effect, and Archduke, which were all produced at TheatreWorks. Other work includes Broadway’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and King James. Both Hwang and Joseph are Pulitzer Prize finalists.

Hart Island was developed in the 2009 Beta Series at Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA. Robb Hunt, Executive Producer — Jerry Dixon, Artistic Director. Hart Island was developed at the Musical Theatre Factory in New York, NY.  Hart Island was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 2020. Learn more about NAMT at



David Henry Hwang’s stage works include the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the musicals Aida (reconceived revival launched 2023 in Europe), Soft Power, Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Called America’s most-produced living opera librettist by Opera News, he has written thirteen libretti, including five with composer Philip Glass. His screenplays include M. Butterfly and he is penning the live-action feature musical remake of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as an Anna May Wong biopic to star actress Gemma Chan. Hwang co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop music icon Prince, and was a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair from 2015-2019. He is show running and creating a new television series, Billion Dollar Whale, for Westward/SKG. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a Grammy Award winner and two-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2018 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021; his star was unveiled on the Lucille Lortel Playwrights Sidewalk in 2022.


Rajiv Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has twice won the Obie Award for Best New American Play, first in 2016 with Guards at the Taj (also a 2016 Lortel Winner for Best Play) and then in 2018 with Describe the Night.  Other plays include King James, Letters of Suresh, Archduke, The North Pool, Gruesome Playground Injuries, and Animals Out of Paper.  He wrote the book and co-wrote lyrics for the musical Fly, based on Peter Pan, and he wrote the libretto for the opera Shalimar the Clown, based on the novel by Salman Rushdie.  He has written for TV and film and has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.  He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal.



Lucie Stern Theatre