Frank Chin #LegacyLeaders Video

Frank Chin, Asian American Theatre Co.


Frank Chin was born in Berkeley, California on February 25, 1940. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1965. He has won three American Book Awards: the first in 1982 for his plays The Chickencoop Chinaman and The Year of the Dragon, the second in 1989 for a collection of short stories titled The Chinaman Pacific and Frisco R.R. Co., and the third in 2000 for lifetime achievement. Chin is considered to be one of the pioneers of Asian-American theatre. He founded the Asian American Theatre Workshop, which became the Asian American Theater Company in 1973. He first gained notoriety as a playwright in the 1970s. His play The Chickencoop Chinaman was the first by an Asian American to be produced on a major New York stage. Stereotypes of Asian Americans, and traditional Chinese folklore are common themes in much of his work. In addition to his work as an author and playwright, Frank Chin has also worked extensively with Japanese American resisters of the draft in WWII. His novel, Born in the U.S.A., is dedicated to this subject. Chin is also a musician. In the mid-1960s, he taught Robbie Krieger, a member of The Doors, how to play the flamenco guitar. Early in his career, Chin worked as a story editor and scriptwriter on Sesame Street.

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