Han Ong is a playwright whose latest work is “Grandeur,” at the Magic Theater in San Francisco through June 25, 2017. He is interviewed by KPFA theater critic Richard Wolinsky. Han Ong has written several plays since the 1990s, and two novels, including the well-reviewed “Fixer Chao” in 2001. This is his second play following a twelve-year absence. “Grandeur” concerns a meeting between a journalist and the late poet and writer Gil Scott-Heron in 2010 upon the release of the album “I’m New Here,” and a year before the poet’s death.
Han Ong was born to Chinese parents and spent his first sixteen years in the Philippines before moving to Los Angeles and getting involved in the theater world. A high school dropout who received a MacArthur Genius Award, he is well known for his plays about dislocation and alienation.
A shorter version of the interview aired on KPFA’s Arts-Waves program.