I always wanted to write, but we were poor immigrants, and my parents made it clear, early and often, that our main goal here was to strike it rich. “We didn’t move to America for you to become a starving artist.” So I began my career trading mortgage-backed securities on Wall Street, and served as a deputy chief of staff during NYC Mayor Dinkins’ administration. When Mayor Dinkins lost to Rudy Giuliani, I was out of a job. I joined a writers group to give me something to do while looking for gainful employment.
I started out writing short stories, and got a few published in literary magazines, but my peers kept raving about my dialogue and urged me to turn one of short stories into a play. I’m glad I listened. That story and my first play, NUMBER ONE SON, became a finalist for the Arnold L. Weissberger Playwriting Competition sponsored by New Dramatists. The second, BIRD’S NEST SOUP was produced at Mark Taper Forum Taper Too, and my third play JUNK BONDS won an award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays and landed me a two page profile on the New York Times. After this trifecta, a playwright was born.
To survive as an artist, I’ve constantly had to push myself, explore many genres and juggle many projects at once. I’ve performed standup comedy, sold a half-hour comedy TV pilot, written two short films (one of which I also directed), written a musical, and won two awards for two different screenplays. In 2018, I won a Silver Award for best health care news coverage writing for American Journal of Nursing. I’ve performed two one-woman shows, CHINESE GIRLS DON’T SWEAR and IT AIN’T EASY BEING CHINESEY, to sold-out audiences in New York, Los Angeles and my hometown of Akron, Ohio.
My father was very physically and emotionally abusive, so much so that my mother abandoned us when I was a teen. Her domestic responsibilities became mine, and my father’s violent streaks worsened in her absence. Growing up in Akron, Ohio with very few Asian Americans, I was often bullied and under tremendous pressure to embody the “model minority.”
Reading and writing started out as an escape from Hell. No one in my family read books and no one cared to ask for my opinions on anything, so writing became a way to discover how I felt, what I thought and other ways to live. It was my delicious secret.
I love to laugh and I love making people laugh. Comedy is revolutionary. You can’t force someone to think something is funny. We all know what canned laughter sounds like. When someone laughs, it’s involuntary. The sounds of laughter means people are listening, they’ve opened up their hearts. Open hearts and open minds can lead to great transformations and lasting connections.
Added bonus: I don’t know anyone who hates to laugh.
Lucy Wang writes, teaches and performs. Her plays have been performed all over, and are available at Original Works Publishing, JAC Publishing, Amazon, One Act Depot, and YouthPLAYS. Wang has also written two short films (one of which she directed), and sold a pilot to Disney. Her awards include the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, Best New Political Social Play from the Katherine and Lee Chilcote Foundation, Berrilla Kerr Foundation, James Thurber Fellowship, CAPE’s New Writers TV Award, NATPE Diversity Fellow, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Honorary Fellow, Annenberg Community Beach House Writer in Residence. She currently teaches at E-script.ws and her papers are archived at the Huntington Library in San Marino.
Online playwriting courses and workshops
Original Works Publishing
New England Entertainment Digest
Lucy’s one act play One Breast,One Nut: A Love Story
Gray Matters, a play by Lucy Wang
Teen Mogul, a play by Lucy-Wang
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell her truth without shame.
2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters