Velina Hasu Houston

Librettist Playwright Lyricist
other/not listed

Houston’s literary career began Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club, expanding globally, including over 38 commissions, and numerous honors and awards. Honored by several organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, Japan Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, and Theatre Communications Group, she’s written for Sidney Poitier, Columbia Pictures, PBS, and other film entities; and had her plays and operas produced nationwide and internationally. She founded graduate playwriting and the study of Asian American culture at the University of Southern California in the early 1990s; and is a presidentially appointed USC Distinguished Professor and USC Resident Playwright. In the early 1980s, she founded the first LGBTQ student organization at her undergraduate institution and the first community organization for mixed race Asians. Former mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley chose Houston to represent the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community for AAPI Heritage Month. Previously, Houston was a member of Pacific Asian American Women Writers-West. A Fulbright scholar, she served on the state department's Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. In Japan, she has been a guest artist at several institutions including Aoyama Gakuin Daigaku, Osaka Daigaku, Kyoto Daigaku, Doshisha Daigaku, Keio Daigaku, Nihon Women’s University, Tokyo Metropolitan Culture Foundation, and others. She is Writers’ Odyssey Associate Artist, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Los Angeles; a member of New Circle Theatre Company, New York, and its Writers’ Group; and on the Board of Trustees, Berklee College. She sits on the advisory boards of Hero Theatre and Directors’ Lab-West. Her archives are based at The Huntington Library ( She is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild, Writers’ Guild of America, West; League of Professional Theatre Women, International Centre for Women Playwrights, Honor Roll, and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. Her play “Tea” has been designated an American classic by Hero Theatre, Los Angeles, and by Roundabout Theatre Company, New York. (she/her/hers/kanojo/ella; ethnically non-binary, Representatives – Agent: Jack Tantleff, Paradigm Talent Agency,; Entertainment Attorney: Michael C. Donaldson, Donaldson Callif Perez,