Title
Playwright
Location
New York, New York
Age
29 at time of award
Area of Focus
Theatrical Arts

Han Ong is a young playwright who communicates a street-smart, worldly, and compassionate vision through theatrical works that are both eloquent and raw.

With virtually no formal education, Ong has developed an instinctive poetic sensibility that introduces audiences to an unusual new population of urban characters.  His plays are written with a simple structure of short scenes that at first seem to come from a profound detachment, fitting the “outsider” status of his characters.  Nevertheless, his distinctive style and strong characterizations form a compelling theatrical grammar that conveys the ironies of living in a multiracial society.  He is actively extending his work into performance work and fiction writing.  Among his stage works are an adaptation of WOYZECK (1992), Swoony Planet 1992), Widescreen Version of the World (1993), The Chang Fragments (1996), and Watcher (2001).  He is also the author of the novels Fixer Chao (2001) and The Disinherited (2004).

Ong is an independent playwright residing in New York City.  His plays have been presented at such theaters as the Public Theatre in New York and the Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles.

Ong grew up in the Philippines and moved to Los Angeles when he was 16.  He dropped out of high school to work, educate himself, and begin writing.

Last updated January 1, 2005

News About this Recipient
June 12, 2017
"Interview: Han Ong, “Grandeur” at the Magic"
KPFA
Han Ong , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
June 3, 2017
"Gil Scott-Heron Comes to Life in New Han Ong Play"
San Francisco Chronicle
Han Ong , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
October 28, 2014
"Han Ong's 'Chairs and a Long Table' Starts Previews Off Broadway"
Key Brand Entertainment
Han Ong , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
View all news
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