Henry Ong

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Henry Ong is an internationally produced playwright whose works have been produced at the Old Globe Theatre,[1] San Diego; Singapore Repertory Theatre;[2] Latchmere Theatre, London;[1] Queens Theatre in the Park, NY;[2] Bailiwick Theatre, Chicago;[1] Grove Theater Center, Los Angeles,[3] and Company of Angels, Los Angeles.[4] His plays include Sweet Karma, Fabric, Legend of the White Snake, People Like Me, Madame Mao's Memories and Rachel Ray.


Ong is a 16-time recipient of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence grants.[5] He has worked on many oral history projects in several underserved communities—notably Asian American --, resulting in presentation of stories not often portrayed in mainstream media. These include Chinese American Stories, Thai American Stories, Pinoy Stories, and Sikh American Stories, among others.[6]

In 1998, Ong received a DramaLogue Award for Excellence in Writing for his play, People Like Me.[7] In 2014, he was recognized with the Lee Melville award by Playwrights' Arena for Outstanding Contribution to Theater in Los Angeles.[8] Ong is an Active Member of the Dramatist Guild.[9]

Playwriting Credits[edit]

Full-length plays:

Sweet Karma, Grove Theater Center (2013); Queens Theatre in the Park, NY (2009)[9]

Fabric, Company of Angeles ( 2010); Singapore Repertory Theatre (1999); Nomad Theatre, Surrey, England (2000)[10]

Rachel Ray (adaptation of Anthony Trollope's 19th century novel), The Coop, Pacific Resident Theatre (workshop production) 2010[3]

The Old Lady Who Popped Out of the Sidewalk and Became a Christmas Tree, Theatre East (2006)[9]

The Legend of the White Snake, Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock (2005)[11]

People Like Me, Playwrights' Arena (1997)[9]

The Call of the Nightingale, (workshop production) Company of Angels (2011)[12]

Dream of the Red Chamber (stage adaptation), Central Library ( 2000), commissioned by Library Foundation of LA; Action Theatre, Singapore (2001) [9]

Odd Birds (book of musical), Los Angeles Theatre Center (1999)[7]

Madame Mao's Memories, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego (1994); Edinburgh Festival (1993); Latchmere Theatre, London (1990); TheatreWorks, Singapore (1991)[7]

One Acts and Short Plays[edit]

One acts:

Letters of Wei Jingsheng Ocean Park Branch Library (1997)[13]

The Silkworm Scientist, LA History Project, Los Angeles Theatre Center (2001)[14]

Voices of Hiroshima, Faith United Methodist Church, (1999); West. Los Angeles United Methodist Church (1997) [15]

Short plays include: Winter, The Valley of the Bones, Legit,[8] Seppuku![2] Who's F***ing the Horse? Stella! [8] Leonardo Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Sunset in Silver Lake, Dim Sum and Then Some, The Birth of Narcissus, The Saga of Lulu Wong,[15] Four Walls.[8]

Youth Plays (2001 – 2006):

Golden Flower Princess (Thai folktale);[9] The Fire Boy (Japanese folktale); Lady White Snake (Chinese folktale); The Marriage of Bolak Sonday (Filipino folktale) [all produced by Marlton School, Los Angeles][8]

Writing/oral history workshops (facilitated and conducted)

Sikh American Stories, Sikh Gurdwara of Los Angeles, (2013)[2]

Thai American Stories, Palm Village Senior Housing (2011)

Stories of the Visually-Impaired orDdeaf, Braille Institute (2009)

Korean American Stories, Korean American Youth & Community Service Center (2008/09)

Chinese American Stories, Chinese Historical Society of So. California (2007–08)

Pinoy Stories, Eagle Rock City Hall (2006)

Middle Eastern/North African Stories, 2015

He is currently conducting an oral history workshop in the Middle Eastern/North African community; the public presentation is on September 14, 2015.[6]

Teaching Experience

Haque Center for Creativity and Acting, Singapore, (The Blank Page Project, 2014)[8]

Youth Drama Workshop, TeenScape, LA Public Library (1998)[16]

Writing Workshops for Youth, David Geffen Center (Jul-Aug 96), South Gate High School (1996), American Youth Foundation (1995)

Monologue Writing, TheatreWorks, Singapore, (1992)

Published plays and books

Madame Mao's Memories, Three Continents Press[17]

People Like Me, Norman Maine Publishing[18]

Uncle Yankee, Yellow Chrysanthemum Press


China Boy, The Body Perfect, Tara


Lee Melville Award (Outstanding Contribution to Theater in LA) Playwrights' Arena (2014)[8]

Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-in-residence grants (15 time recipient)

DramaLogue Award for Excellence in Writing – "People Like Me" (1998)[7]


  1. ^ a b c Breslaurer, Jan. Divining Madam Mao. "Los Angeles Times" 08 May 1994. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Arlin, Marcy. “Artist, Immigrant Henry Ong” "Theater Communication Group" Los Angeles. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Events "The Trollope Society" Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  4. ^ Duvall, Vince. “Fabric at the Company of Angeles in the Alexandria Hotel” "LA Theater Review", Los Angeles, 22 July 2010. Retrieved on 23 June 2015.
  5. ^ "About". henryong.org. 
  6. ^ a b Workshop with Henry Ong. "The Markaz" Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d Henry Ong Interview. "The RipPost" Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g The Blank Page. "Method Acting Asia" Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Henry Ong Interview. "The RipPost" Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  10. ^ Zhang, Ruiling Erika. “Modern Day Slavery Takes Center Stage”, "Daily Bruin", Los Angeles, 5 July 2010. Retrieved on 23 June 2015.
  11. ^ Martinez, Julio. “Playwright Henry Ong Weaves Fabric of Immigrant Lives” "This Stage Magazine" Los Angeles, 13 July 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  12. ^ Tang, Roger W. Calendar "Asian American Theater Review" May 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  13. ^ Tang, Roger W. Calendar. "Asian American Theater Review" August 2001. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  14. ^ The Silkworm Scientist. "Performing Arts Alive." Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ a b Tang, Roger W. Calendar. "Asian American Theater Review" December 1998. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  16. ^ Tang, Roger W. The Old Lady Who Popped Out Of The Sidewalk and Became a Christmas Tree "Asian American Theater Review" 25 November 2003. Los Angeles. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  17. ^ Company of Angeles Playwrights Group. "Company of Angeles" Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  18. ^ Ong, Henry. People Like Me. "Norman Main Publishing." Tellevast, Florida. 2005. Retrieved 21 July 2015.