Velina Hasu Houston

Member since 2019 (UCPG Cohort One)

Velina Hasu Houston, recipient of over twenty-eight writing commissions, began her career Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club, expanding globally to institutions such as the Old Globe Theatre and Los Angeles Opera.  She also writes for film and television; and is a published poet, essayist, journalist, and novelist.  The nationally acclaimed film short she penned, Path of Dreams, was named best original screenplay at the London International Filmmaker Festival 2019.  Honored by the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, Japan Foundation, Wallace Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and others, she is Distinguished Professor & Director of Dramatic Writing at the School of Dramatic Arts, University of Southern California.  A Fulbright Scholar, she served on the US Department of State’s Japan-US Friendship Commission.  Currently, her work has been produced in Toronto, London, and Vietnam, and is slated for several Los Angeles productions in 2020. Matchabook, her blog, highlights female theatre artists.  The recipient of a TCG Global Connections grant, Houston is writing a new play that will first bow as part of The Body Female, produced by Los Angeles Opera in its Eurydice Found Festival, January 2020, a collaboration with Nao Bustamante, Paula Cizmar, Nadia Islam, and Bita Shafipour.  She is bookwriter with composer Angela Aki for the musical theatre adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha, produced by Dustin Sparks.  Current film projects include adaptations of two of her plays; and a film adaptation of the short story, “Madame Butterfly.”  Archives: Library of Congress, Huntington Library.