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WATCH: TDF's Conversation with David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori

Date: Jul 07, 2021

The creators of Soft Power talk about the musical's future and their careers


Playwright and lyricist David Henry Hwang says that when he enlisted Tony-winning Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori to work with him on Soft Power, he felt like "Churchill the day he learned the Americans were going to enter World War II." Happily, Hwang and Tesori's collaboration was much less combative. In fact, the two became quite close as they wrote (and rewrote) this ambitious "musical within a play," which started out as a reverse The King and I but evolved into a much more personal piece as real-life events were incorporated, including Donald Trump's 2016 election and Hwang being stabbed in a seemingly racially motivated attack. After a long pandemic separation, TDF brought these two friends together for an intimate online conversation about Soft Power's journey, the rash of violence against Asian Americans and their hopes for the theatre industry as it reopens. If you weren't able to tune in live on our Facebook page, you can watch a recording of their inspiring conversation below.

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Top image: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori.