ALVIN ENG is a native NYC playwright, performer, acoustic punk rock raconteur and educator. His plays and performances have been seen Off-Broadway, throughout the U.S., as well as in Paris, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China.
Eng is the author and editor of the oral history/play anthology, Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience on Stage. His plays, lyrics and memoir excerpts have also been published in numerous anthologies. His storytelling and commentary have been broadcast and streamed on National Public Radio, among others.
As a Professor of Playwriting, Theatre, Creative Writing and Public Speaking, Eng has had Full-Time Academic Appointments, Visiting Professorships and Residencies on the Undergraduate and Graduate level. He is also a two-time Fulbright Specialist appointee as a Scholar in Theatre/U.S. Studies. During his first appointment, he was in residence at City University of Hong Kong and invited by the U.S. Consulate, Guangzhou, to conduct theatre workshops and perform his memoir monologue, THE LAST EMPEROR of FLUSHING, in his family’s ancestral Guangdong Province.
Eng holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Tisch School of the Arts of NEW YORK UNIVERSITY.
Eng is currently writing and developing three new works:
HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN (or How I Kicked Punk) received a 2020 Workshop Residency at Dixon Place, the renowned NYC new theatre incubator. This solo acoustic punk rock raconteur work explores the impact of opium on the Chinese Diaspora as well as NYC’s punk/counterculture through the dual prisms of William S. Burroughs’ character, “Johnny Yen”––immortalized in Iggy Pop & David Bowie’s ”Lust For Life”––and Eng’s own Grandfather’s opium overdose on the streets of NYCs Chinatown.
The first two of three workshop performances in February 8 and March 7 were SRO and well-received. Of course, the third and final workshop performance that was scheduled for April was cancelled, but the Dixon Place Workshop Residency resumes on October 24, 2020! A video of the 25-minute March 7 Workshop performance can be accessed here.
Eng is also writing a prose memoir extension of THE LAST EMPEROR OF FLUSHING, subtitled Our Laundry, Our Town. The memoir chronicles growing up in a 1970s Chinese Hand Laundry in what was then one of the few immigrant Asian families in Flushing, Queens, to performing his The Last Emperor of Flushing, in English, in a former People’s Hall of the Cultural Revolution in his family’s ancestral Guangdong province. That performance was an extension of a Fulbright Specialist Devised Theatre/Oral History Residency that Eng co-conceived and directed with his wife, director/dramaturg Wendy Wasdahl, at City University of Hong Kong. In this devised theatre/oral history project, students wrote and performed English language plays in response to Thornton Wilder’s classic Americana play, “Our Town.” As Wilder spent part of his childhood in China, when his father was U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Shanghai, Our Town has many Chinese influences.
He is also in the earliest stages of writing a new play, AARP (Asian American Rock Party) Presents a One-Night Reunion of G.O.D. (Goddess of Democracy). This play with original songs is a meditation on the axis of activism, history, music and memories. It is told (chanted, ranted and sung) from the perspective of “Goddess of Democracy,” an early 1990s Alternative Rock band that formed in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising. In response to the 2019 Hong Kong uprising, the band is reuniting for one benefit concert…if they can make it through one last rehearsal/reflection process.
Coming Soon: Links to archival info on…
PLAYS & MUSICAL THEATRE WORKS (including Portrait Plays: A Cycle of Historical Dramas on Artists and Portraiture)
SOLO PERFORMANCE WORKS
ARTS EDUCATION and PUBLIC PROGRAMS
PUBLICATIONS and BROADCASTS