May 35th, © Cheung Chi Wai

Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival

OCTOBER 2-25, 2020


Featuring Candace Chong Mui Ngam (Hong Kong), Nophand (Thailand), and Camila Villegas (Mexico).


Co-founded by Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang, this marquee annual festival presents readings of three plays by living international playwrights alongside conversations with the playwrights and translators. Now in its third year, the 2020 edition of the festival will be held as a series of podcasts.


Listen to the trailer here


October 2, 9, 16, 2020, 8:00pm ET 

Friday, October 2, 8:00 pm ET
Written by Camila Villegas (Mexico)

A kidnapping. A murder. Two parents seek justice and redemption—if only the system worked that way.


Friday, October 9, 8:00pm ET
Written by Nophand (Thailand)

On a stormy night in Bangkok, four beings are stuck in traffic. Your phone can't help you out of these dead ends.


Friday, October 16, 8:00 pm ET
Written by Candace Chong Mui Ngam (Hong Kong)

Sui Lum and Ah Dai grapple with a date so volatile that the government won’t let them say it aloud.


Translator Panel Discussion: How Do You Translate For The Stage?

Saturday, October 24, 10:00 am ET

Daniel Jáquez (Rarámuri Dreams), and Nophand (Taxi Radio). Moderated by Susan Bernofsky, Writing​. This panel discussion is sponsored by the MFA Writing Program/Literary Translation at Columbia.


(left to right) Daniel Jáquez, Nophand, and Susan Bernofsky

Playwright Panel Discussion 

Sunday, October 25, 10:00 am ET

Candace Chong Mui Ngam, Camila Villegas, and Nophand. Moderated by David Henry Hwang, Theatre.


(Left to right) Candace Chong Mui Ngam, Nophand, and Camila Villegas, and David Henry Hwang

Festival Founders and Directors

Carol Becker, Professor of the Arts and Dean, Columbia University School of the Arts

David Henry Hwang, Concentration Head, Playwriting, Theatre MFA Program


Selection Committee

Susan Bernofsky, Director, Literary Translation at Columbia, Writing MFA Program

David Henry Hwang, Concentration Head, Playwriting, Theatre MFA Program

Morgan Jenness, Theatre MFA Program

Kate Loewald, Theatre MFA Program and The Play Company

Christian Parker, Theatre MFA Program


Nominating Bodies

John Eisner, The Lark

Michel Hausmann, Colony Theatre/Miami New Drama

Anchuli Felicia King

Joanna Lee, Museworks

Roberta Levitow

Bill Rauch, The Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts

Mark Russell, Under the Radar (Public Theater)

Ken Smith, Financial Times

Lloyd Suh, The Lark

Mfundi Vundla, Market Theatre



Gavin Browning, Director of Public Programs and Engagement

Jessi Cotter, Production Manager

Zoe E. Rotter, Casting Director

Sami Pyne, Student Producer

Kate Foster, Literary Manager

Martin Murray, Literary Manager

Paola Alexandra Soto, Literary Manager


Columbia University School of the Arts recognizes that Manhattan is part of the ancestral and traditional homeland of the Lenni Lenape and Wappinger people. The School also acknowledges that we are part of an institution whose spaces are funded, governed by, and named for families who derived their wealth from the transatlantic slave trade and plantation slavery. By acknowledging the legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that have enabled us to gather here today, we are taking a small first step toward the long and overdue process of healing and repair.


The School of the Arts will continue to confront and address issues of exclusion, erasure, and systemic discrimination in our community through ongoing education and responsible representation. As a School, it is essential that we foster a truly creative environment where all are seen, heard, represented, and understood, so that our artists can focus their energy on doing what they are called to do: to hold a mirror up to society to interpret the world as they see it, while helping humanity envision a better future.