Velina Hasu Houston

Playwright, Author

1957 –


Who is Velina Hasu Houston?

Velina Hasu Houston, born Velina Avisa Hasu Houston, is an award-winning American playwright, essayist, poet, author, editor, and screenwriter. She has had many works produced, presented, and published, with some drawing from her experience of being multiracial, as well as from the immigrant experiences of her family and those she encountered growing up in Junction City, Kansas.

Her work focuses on the shifting boundaries of identity with regard to gender, culture, and ethnicity, often embracing a transnational view of identity based upon her own Japanese and American background. Her works' themes also have extended beyond these issues to explore stories related to women in society. She is best known for her play Tea, which portrays the lives of Japanese war brides who move to the United States with their American servicemen husbands.

Her plays are studied in the US, Asia, and Europe in high schools and in colleges and universities. She is the only American playwright to amass a body of work that explores the transnational US-Japan relationship through stories that include a bilateral, global view of identity and belonging. The former Honorable Consul General of Japan of Los Angeles Kazuo Kodama paralleled Houston’s work in drama to the work of Isamu Noguchi in fine art, both being offspring of one Japanese parent and one American parent.

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May 5, 1957
  • University of California, Los Angeles

on July 23, 2013


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