DHH (David Henry Hwang)

David Henry Hwang creates a semi-autobiographical character in the scripting of DHH. Arrogant, proud, confused, yet honest, DHH exposes his conflicted character throughout the course of the story. At the start of the play, DHH gloats over the success of his previous play, M. Butterfly, and prides himself on becoming a strong role model in the Asian American community. He is appalled when he learns that Broadway will allow Jonathan Pryce to play a Eurasian character in Miss Saigon, so he adamantly protests the musical. The Actors’ Equity Association is on his side until pressured by the media—they then repeal their decision and Miss Saigon is released. Surprisingly, DHH lets go of the issue; he cannot be bothered with challenging the media and sets his sights on other interests. DHH is too absorbed by his own career and success to continue the fight. His desire for success blinds him, and ironically he casts a White actor to play a major Asian role in one of his own plays. Even after DHH is challenged about his casting choice, he refuses to admit he is wrong and instead attempts to cover up his mistake. DHH is heavily criticized and even cited by the government for supposedly conspiring with others to illegally transfer funds. In the end, DHH comes away hoping he can break away from the stereotypes that bind him.

Marcus G. Dahlman / Marcus Gee

A creation of DHH, Marcus G. Dahlman/Marcus Gee represents the ambiguity that lies under society’s perceptions of race, ethnicity, and identity. Hired to play one of the lead roles in DHH’s play Face Value, Marcus gladly accepts the role and does not consider it an issue that the role is for an Asian American. Marcus believes that as an actor, he can represent any character. When DHH approaches Marcus and asks him to take on the name “Marcus Gee,” Marcus does so and enters into the world of the Asian American community. Marcus describes this community as a family...

(The entire section is 828 words.)