Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide

By Emmanuel S. Nelson | Go to book overview

CHAY YEW (1966–)

Nikolas Huot


BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1966 in Singapore, Chay Yew is the older child of a Chinese businessman and a civil servant. Growing up speaking Chinese and English, Yew attended the reputable Anglo Chinese School in Singapore. Yew left home at the age of sixteen to study theater at Pepperdine University but returned two years later to serve his compulsory stint in the army. While in Singapore, he wrote As If He Hears, a play about AIDS and unprotected sex. Because of the sympathetic portrayal of a gay character, the play was banned by the government until Yew made the character more effeminate; he, however, “refused to make him weak” (Breslauer 13). Yew returned to the United States in 1988 to study film and television at Boston University. For his master’s degree thesis, Yew wrote a controversial screenplay about toilet sex. Despite the faculty’s support, no actors auditioned for the roles, and the film was never produced. After graduating, Yew was offered a position as resident playwright for a theater company in London called Mu-Lan. His first project consisted of rewriting his master’s thesis for the stage. Porcelain was produced at Etcetera Theatre and later at the Royal Court Theatre in front of sellout crowds and won the London Fringe Award for best play of 1992.

Since Porcelain was first presented in the United States in 1993, Yew has written A Language of Their Own, which won the George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award and the GLAAD Media Award for best play of 1995; Half Lives, which won The Straits Times award for best play in 1997 and was later rewritten as Wonderland; and A Beautiful Country, Red, and numerous short plays. In addition to writing, Yew has adapted and directed such plays as Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba; The Courage to Stand Alone (taken from the letters of imprisoned Chinese political dissident Wei Jingsheng); David Henry

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Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Edward Albee (1928–) 1
  • Jeff Baron (1952–) 11
  • Jeffery Beam (1953–) 19
  • David Bergman (1950–) 25
  • Alan Bowne (1945–1989) 29
  • Donald Britton (1951–1994) 38
  • James Broughton (1913–1999) 43
  • Bibliography 50
  • Victor Bumbalo (1946–) 54
  • Charles Busch (1954–) 61
  • Leo F. Cabranes-Grant (1960–) 69
  • Robert Chesley (1943–1990) 74
  • Justin Chin (1969–) 82
  • Alfred Corn (1943–) 87
  • Mart Crowley (1935–) 93
  • Melvin Dixon (1950–1992) 101
  • Bibliography 106
  • Tim Dlugos (1950–1990) 108
  • Bibliography 116
  • Mark Doty (1953–) 117
  • Bibliography 123
  • David Drake (1963–) 125
  • Robert Duncan (1919–1988) 130
  • Christopher Durang (1949–) 141
  • Edward Field (1924–) 147
  • Harvey Fierstein (1954–) 153
  • William Finn (1952–) 162
  • Kenny Fries (1960–) 171
  • Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) 178
  • Thom Gunn (1929–) 188
  • Bibliography 196
  • Essex Hemphill (1957–1995) 198
  • William M. Hoffman (1939–) 205
  • Richard Howard (1929–) 212
  • Bibliography 215
  • Maurice Kenny (1929–) 217
  • Bibliography 220
  • Rudy Kikel (1943–) 222
  • Harry Kondoleon (1955–1994) 230
  • Bibliography 234
  • Larry Kramer (1935–) 236
  • Tony Kushner (1956–) 246
  • Michael Lassell (1947–) 260
  • Timothy Liu (1965–) 268
  • Craig Lucas (1951–) 272
  • Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) 280
  • J.D. Mcclatchy (1945–) 288
  • Bibliography 291
  • Terrence Mcnally (1939–) 293
  • Bibliography 307
  • Scott Mcpherson (1959–1992) 309
  • James Merrill (1926–1995) 316
  • Paul Monette (1945–1995) 323
  • Frank O’hara (1926–1966) 334
  • Bibliography 340
  • Robert O’hara (1970–) 342
  • Peter Parnell (1953–) 349
  • Carl Phillips (1959–) 357
  • Kenneth Pobo (1954–) 363
  • D.A. Powell (1963–) 369
  • Bibliography 376
  • Guillermo Reyes (1962–) 377
  • Bibliography 382
  • Assotto Saint (yves FranÇois Lubin) (1957–1994) 383
  • Bibliography 387
  • F. Allen Sawyer (1957–) 388
  • Bibliography 392
  • James Schuyler (1923–1991) 393
  • Reginald Shepherd (1963–) 398
  • Bibliography 405
  • Martin Sherman (1938–) 406
  • Aaron Shurin (1947–) 412
  • David Trinidad (1953–) 421
  • Gore Vidal (1925–) 427
  • Bibliography 435
  • Jonathan Williams (1929–) 438
  • Doric Wilson (1939–) 444
  • Lanford Wilson (1937–) 451
  • Chay Yew (1966–) 461
  • Selected Bibliography 467
  • Index 469
  • About the Contributors 477
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