"Real life... it always demands an original response."
From Velina Hasu Houston's The Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of the Moon
P L A Y S A N D O T H E R W R I T I N G S
-Synopses of projects in progress. Please visit again in the near future. Thanks.-
A Collection of Houston's Plays - available from Amazon.com
"The Matsuyama Mirror" has been published by YouthPLAYS.
"Cinnamon Girl" in Beijing, China, 2014
PLAYWRIGHTS' ARENA 2014
LOS ANGELES OPERA 2014
SCENE DOCK THEATRE 2014
Velina Hasu Houston's CAUSE CÉLÈBRE, graphic design by Michele Thompson
BROWN GIRL IN THE RING, graphic design by Michele Thompson
"Calling Aphrodite," International City Theatre, Long Beach, California, 2007.
T H E T H E A T R E
COMMISSIONS 2015 The Pasadena Playhouse, Ozomatli Musical Project, Book
2015 Playwrights' Arena, The Hotel Play
2013 Playwrights' Arena, Los Angeles, Cause Célèbre, Spanish Golden Age plays.
2012-2013 The Women & War Project, The Intuition of Iphigenia; Sponsored by Ryerson University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the University of Athens, Hydrama Theatre & Arts Centre.
2011-2014 Los Angeles Opera, Jonah and the Whale
2008-2010 Silk Road Theatre Project produced in association with the Goodman Theatre, The DNA Trail, A Collaboration with David Henry Hwang, Philip Kan Gotanda, Elizabeth Wong, Shishir Kurup, Lina Patel, and Jamil Khoury (Houston's play Mother Road)
2008-Present Los Angeles Opera, The One-Ten Project/Another Perfect Day
2006-2007 Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Messy Utopia, a collaborative theatre project with Naomi Iizuka, Aldo Velasco, Aditi Kapil, and Seema Sueko. (Houston's play, Bloody Hell (Or) I Wouldn't Change A Thing About You, Liz Engelman, Dramaturg)
2004 American Repertory Dance Company, Dreams, Structuring of collage of works by Langston Hughes, Hu Shih and Shushanig Gourghinhain, and Los Angeles students
2002 Sacramento Theatre Company, Something to Say, Kids Write Plays/The American Dream Project
2001 Sacramento Theatre Company, Amazing Grace, The Millennium Monologues
1998 The Jewish Women's Theatre Project, The Lotus of the Sublime Pond 1997 The Mark Taper Forum, Tell Her That You Saw Me 1996 Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation New Generations Play Project/ Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Hula Heart
1996 The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts of the State of Hawaii, Kennedy Theatre, Ikebana (Living Flowers) (formerly Cultivated Lives)
1994 Asia Society, Japanese and Multicultural at the Turn-of-the-Century, National Public Radio Broadcast 1993 Cornerstone Theatre Company, Snowing Fire 1988 Manhattan Theatre Club, Broken English (aka The Melting Plot) 1985 The Mark Taper Forum, The Legend of Bobbi Chicago
THE PLAYS [For full list of productions see author's curriculum vitae; click on PDF link below.]
Tea, With Music (chamber musical, Music by Nathan Wang)
The American Women
Hum the Bee
Glimmer (play with music, public domain jazz)
Cinnamon Girl (musical, Music by Nathan Wang)
Girl in the Ring (musical, Music by Nathan Wang)
The Last Resort
Turbulence (formerly known as The Territory of Dreams)
A Spot of Bother
Cymru Am Byth (Wales Forever)
Asa Ga Kimashita (Morning Has Broken) American Dreams Kokoro (True Heart) The Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of the Moon Calling Aphrodite Waiting for Tadashi Necessities Ikebana (Living Flowers) Shedding the Tiger Calligraphy The Eyes of Bones Thirst The Ideal and the Life My Life A Loaded Gun Messy Utopia (Collaboration) The DNA Trail (Collaboration) The House of Chaos Kapiolani's Faith Christmas Cake Tokyo Valentine Sentimental Education
ONE-ACT PLAYS: The Matsuyama Mirror Hula Heart Civilization Mister Los Angeles
A Dog's Life
Japanese and Multicultural at the Turn-of-the-Century Tell Her That You Saw Me The Lotus of the Sublime Pond Free Verse Amazing Grace Point of Departure Amerasian Girls Father, I Must Have Rice Petals and Thorns The Confusion of Tongues Kumo Kumo DRAMATIC WORK IN PROGRESS: Like the Flow of a River
Cave of the Virgins The Tongues of Men and Angels Do You Hear What I Hear (musical, Music by Nathan Wang)
Aloha Oe (musical, Music by Nathan Wang)
The Tale of Yingtai (musical) Natural Selection (sequel to Civilization)
The Mexican Friendship Circle at Border Field
Hymn to the Price of Love
Jonah and the Whale, Libretto by Houston, Music by Jack Perla, Los Angeles Opera, 2014
Another Perfect Day (co-written with Shishir Kurup, composer Nathan Wang) (Los Angeles Opera)
The Intuition of Iphigenia (composer Nathan Wang)
P U B L I C A T I O N S
2016, Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Mixed Race Not About White People; Edited by Paul Spickard, Ph.D. Essay.
2015, “Hard Crimson,” essay, The Dramatist.
2015, The Matsuyama Mirror, YouthPLAYS. Play.
2015, Monologues for Mature Actors. Contributor.
2015, Routledge, Monologues for Actors of Color, 2015. Contributor.
2014, Essay/Foreword. Dream of the Water Children by Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd, 2Leaf Press. Contributor.
Kokoro (True Heart), Dramatists' Play Service, 2011
Mister Los Angeles and essay innew edition of Playwriting Master Class, Edited by Michael Wright, Focus Press, 2010
The Eyes of Bones in Living and Writing on America's Left Coast: Contemporary Women's Plays, Murasaki Books, 2010
Hiking the DNA Trail: 7 Playwrights Reckon with Science's Most Personal Revelations, American Theatre magazine, March 2010
Outstanding Women's Monologues, Dramatists Play Service, 2010
Best Women's Monologues of 2008, Smith and Kraus, 2009
Contributor, Japanese War Brides Experiences: Immigration, Gender, and Ethnicity, Edited by Fumiteru Nitta, University of Hawaii Press, 2010, Chapter Title: "Matsuyama Daughter: Japanese War Brides in Kansas"
Contributor, Crossing the Ocean: A New Look at the History of Japanese Picture Brides and Japanese War Brides, Edited by Noriko Shimada, Akashi Shoten, Tokyo, 2009
"Writer's Block" Busters: 101 Exercises to Clear the Dead Wood and Make Room for Flights of Fancy, Smith and Kraus, 2008
Essay, "Matters of the Heart: To Be A Dragonslayer," in Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion, Edited by Karen Bender and Nina de Gramont, MacAdam/Cage Publishing Inc., 2007
"Out of the Margins: A national theatre conference in Los Angeles galvanizes Asian-American forces," American Theatre magazine, October 2006
Tea, Dramatists Play Service, 2006
Green Tea Girl in Orange Pekoe Country: Selected Plays of Velina Hasu Houston, Edited by Peggy Shannon, Murasaki Books, 2012
Ritsumeikan Daigaku Faculty of Law Journal, Kyoto, Japan, Essay, "The Ties That Bind: The Honor of Friendship," 2005
Alexander Street Press, Tea, Kokoro, Asa Ga Kimashita, American Dreams, Necessities, The Ideal and the Life, Calling Aphrodite, Waiting for Tadashi, The Matsuyama Mirror, Hula Heart, Ikebana, The Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of the Moon, 2005 and ongoing
Perishable Theatre Anthology of Women's Plays 2004-2005, Critical Essay Response regarding J.C. Samuels' How High the Moon?
The Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of... Color (Do You Have a Race and Do You Know What It Really Is?) Notes on My Play "The Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of the Moon," www.newpowerplays.com, Multirace and the Future, an essay in The Multiracial Child Sourcebook, Edited by Matt Kelley and Maria P.P. Root, 2003
"Notes from a Cosmopolite" (essay) in The Color of Theater: A Critical Sourcebook in Race and Performance, Edited by Roberta Uno with Lucy San Pablo Burns, Continuum International Publishing, 2002
Kokoro (True Heart) in Political Plays of the 1990s, Edited by Allan Havis. University of Illinois Press, 2002
"The Soprano's Father" and "Green Tea Girl in Orange Pekoe Country" (poetry), Intersecting Circles: Voices of Hapa Women in Poetry and Prose, Edited by Marie Hara and Nora Okja Keller Cobb, Bamboo Ridge Press, 2000
This Is the Key (play), Mister Los Angeles (play), and playwriting essay in Playwriting Master Class, Edited by Michael Wright, Heinemann Publishing, 2000
Tea (play) excerpt, Monologues for Women of Color, Edited by Roberta Uno, Routledge, 2000
Tea (play) excerpt and essay in Yellow Light: the Flowering of Asian American Arts, Edited by Amy Ling, Ph.D., Temple University Press, 1999, in the series Asian American History and Culture, edited by Sucheng Chan, David Palumbo-Liu, and Michael Omi
Essay in Why We Write: Personal Statements and Photographic Portraits of 25 Top Screenwriters, Edited and Photographed by Lorian Tamara Elbert, Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 1999
American Dreams (play) excerpted in Encounters: People of Asian Descent in the Americas, Edited by Roshni Rustomji-Kerns with Rajini Srikanth and Leny Mendoza Strobel, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1999
Foreword of Asian American Culture on Stage: The History of The East West Players by Yuko Kurahashi, Ph.D., Garland Publishing, Inc., A member of the Taylor & Francis Group, as part of the series, Asian Americans: Reconceptualizing Culture, History, Politics, Edited by Franklin Ng, 1999
Hula Heart (play) in Eight Plays for Children: The New Generation Project, Edited by Coleman A. Jennings, University of Texas Press, 1999
Tea (play), ALIVE & ALOUD: Radio Plays, L.A. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Series, 1999
"'Green Tea Girl': Meditations on Tea and Culture" (essay) Pacific Citizen, Holiday Issue, 1998
"One Eighth, One Quarter, One Half: A Roundtable Discussion by Multiethnic Asians Lisa See, Aimee Liu and Velina Hasu Houston," Yolk Magazine, 1998
"Uphill Fight for Asian American Plays," Counterpunch Op-ed, Calendar section, Los Angeles Times, September 15, 1997, pp. F1-F3.
But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise: New Asian American Plays, Edited by Velina Hasu Houston, Foreword by Roberta Uno, Temple University Press, 1997, in the series Asian American History and Culture, edited by Sucheng Chan, David Palumbo-Liu, and Michael Omi
No Passing Zone: Aesthetic and Discursive Voices of Multiethnic Asians. Edited by Velina Hasu Houston and Teresa Kay Williams, Amerasia Journal, Special Edition, 1997
As Sometimes in a Dead Man's Face (play) in Asian American Drama: Nine Plays from the Multiethnic Landscape, edited by Brian Nelson, Applause Theatre Books, 1997
Tea (play) in Plays for Actresses, Edited by Eric Lane and Nina Shengold, Vintage Books- Random House, 1997
"To the Colonizer Goes the Spoils: Amerasian Progeny in Vietnam War Films and Owning Up to the Gaze" (essay), No Passing Zone: Aesthetic and Discursive Voices of Multiethnic Asians, Amerasia Journal, Special Edition, 1997
Tea (play) in American Journey: The Asian American Experience, a CD-ROM publication, Primary Resource Media and the University of California at Los Angeles, 1996
"Home" (essay), Homemaking: Women Writers and the Politics and Poetics of Home, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996
The Matsuyama Mirror (play) in Short Plays for Young Actors. Edited by Craig Slaight and Jack Sharrar. Smith and Kraus, 1996
"The Future of Asian America is Multiethnic Asian," Yolk Magazine, 1996
"Kokoro: Mind and Heart, East and West," article, Japan Society Newsletter, April, 1994
"Multiculturalism and the American Theatre: Out of the Hysteria and into the Realities," The Dramatists Guild Newsletter, "A Conversation With..." front-page column, February, 1993
Image Ethics, and Social Responsibility, a publication of Independent Feature Project-West, October, 1992, with Houston's comments excerpted from an October, 1990, panel discussion, of the same title held at Warner Bros. Studio, Burbank, California
The Politics of Life: Four Plays by Asian American Women, Edited by Velina Hasu Houston with an introduction and commentaries by Velina Hasu Houston, Temple University Press, 1992, in the series Asian American History and Culture, edited by Sucheng Chan. This is the first anthology focusing on the dramatic literature of Asian American women.
Asa Ga Kimashita (Morning Has Broken) (play) in The Politics of Life: Four Plays by Asian American Women, Edited by Velina Hasu Houston with an introduction and commentaries by Velina Hasu Houston, Temple University Press, 1992
Tea (play) in Unbroken Thread, the second anthology of Asian American feminist dramatic literature; Editor, Roberta Uno; University of Massachusetts Press, 1993
"The Past Meets the Future: A Cultural Essay," Amerasia Journal, 1991
"Amerasian Girl" (poem), in GIDRA 1990, twentieth anniversary issue, 1990
Tea (play), in Plays In Process; Volume Nine, Number Five; Theatre Communications Group, Inc., New York, 1989
"Amerasian Girl" (poem), in Echoes IV; Impressions, Inc., Peace Press, Long Beach, California; 1984
"Song of an Ainoko Granddaughter" (poem), in Echoes IV; Impressions, Inc., Peace Press, Long Beach, California; 1984
"The First Japanese Foreign Male" (poem), Poets' Voices 1984: Social Issues by Contemporary Poets, San Diego Poet's Press; Editors: Kathleen Iddings, Thomas L. Gayton, Ric Solano, Ron O. Salisbury; San Diego, 1984
"The Challenge of Diversity for African Americans and Asian Americans," The Multiracial Asian Times, 1991
"Interracial and Multi-ethnic Studies in California College and University Courses," California Sociological Association Newsletter
"On Being Mixed Japanese," Pacific Citizen, December 1986
"Song of an Ainoko Granddaughter," Pacific Citizen, December 1986
"For My Japanese Grandfather," Pacific Citizen, December 1986
"Amerasian Girl," Pacific Citizen, December 1986
"I Was Japanese Before It Was Cool" (poetry) Pacific Citizen, December 1986