Yellow Face


Writers: David Henry Hwang


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Contemporary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
1990 to present; New York City; Los Angeles; Washington D.C.; Boston; San Francisco; the Guizhou Province, China
Cast Size
Ideal for
Diverse Cast, Mostly Male Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult characters


Yellow Face is David Henry Hwang's self-mocking drama about his reaction to the casting of Caucasian actor Jonathan Pryce as a Eurasian character in the Broadway musical, Miss Saigon. Hwang was loudly critical of the casting choice, and he decides to write a play about the experience. He finds the perfect actor, “Marcus G. Dahlman“ to play the lead Eurasian role, only he doesn't realize that Marcus is not Asian. When Hwang discovers that Marcus is white, he invents a story that Marcus has Siberian-Jewish ancestry. Meanwhile, Hwang's father, HYH, is caught in a political contribution scandal, and the two of them are forced to examine their relationship and heritage. Yellow Face is a sideways look at Hwang's common themes of race and assimilation. Almost all actors play multiple roles, many of them real people in politics, the media, and theatre.

Lead Characters

Yellow Face guide sections