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BD Wong
BD Wong
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BD Wong
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Award-winning actor BD Wong is one of America’s most versatile performers. BD has been on screens big and small for the last 20 years, appearing in such hits as Law & Order: SVU, Oz, Gotham, Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World. He received an Emmy nomination for his role as whiterose and Minister Zhang in USA's Mr. Robot

His Broadway debut in M. Butterfly earned him a Tony Award, Outer Critic’s Circle Award, Theatre World Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Drama Desk Award, making him the only actor to ever win all five major New York theater awards for a single role.

With over 20 film credits, BD’s notable appearances include Father of the Bride I & IISeven Years in Tibet, Disney’Mulan, and the HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart. In addition to off-Broadway and regional theater work, he starred in the widely celebrated Broadway revival of the musical You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures.

His experiences in an industry fraught with rejection, typecasting, and racism have given him a sharp perspective on the subject of diversity. Lauded for his resonant and inspirational messages, he addresses issues like racial self-image, Asian-American parental pressure and the “model-minority myth,” and the challenges of multiple identities.

BD’s memoir, Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man, recounts the highs and lows that BD and his former partner endured on the road to parenthood, and the difficult days following the premature birth of his twin boys via surrogate mother. The White House invited BD to participate in a conversation on fatherhood and male mentorship.

Winner of the GLAAD Davidson/Valenti award, BD is an advocate for The Trevor Project's “It Gets Better” campaign and was honored for his support of the LGBT community at the annual Marriage Equality Gala. BD is on the Board of Directors of Rosie’s Kids, an organization that provides free performing arts classes to public school students.

BD has headlined productions of the ambitious one-man musical Herringbone – in which he plays nearly a dozen characters — at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. He co-authored and directed the musical adaptation of Mr. Holland’s Opus at the Ogunquit Playhouse in 2016. Wong produced and directed The Yellow Wood for NYMF and Cindy Cheung’s Speak Up For Connie for the All For One festival. He is currently developing the new musical, Heading East

Full Bio >
  • BD Wong on Acting, Race and Diversity (2008)
  • Legacy Award speech — Museum of Chinese in America (2016)
  • Wong discusses Jurassic World
  • Gay It Forward PSA featuring BD Wong (2012)
  • Herringbone: Montage (2009)
  • Wong describes coming out and his audience (2011)
  • M. Butterfly: BD Wong and John Lithgow
  • Wong on his role in "Heading East" (2010)
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Speaking Topics
An Evening with BD Wong: From M. Butterfly to Jurassic World
All the World's a Stage: From Exclusion to Inclusion

The lessons BD Wong has learned in order to survive and excel in a vocation fraught with rejection, stereotyping and racism have given him a keen perspective on the subject of diversity and forced him to empower himself. In this presentation, infused with humor, storytelling and the passion of a world class artist, BD addresses the issues of racial self-image, race-based rejection, Asian-American parental pressure and the “model minority myth,” and he describes his journey as a gay man in the entertainment industry. Retracing his path from adolescent racial self-hatred to eventual self-acceptance, from struggling with inequity to breaking down barriers in his personal and professional lives and embracing his multiple identities, including fatherhood, BD reveals the man behind the roles.

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An Actor's Journey, An Artist's Vision

Click here for a full color PDF description of An Actor’s Journey, An Artist’s Vision.

Award-winning actor BD Wong takes audiences on an adventure through his life and career, highlighting the lessons he’s learned along the way. This special program, illustrated with photos and video, is inspired by Herringbone, the one-man show that BD performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse.

Program #1 – Runs 60 – 70 minutes, including 45 minutes of BD discussing his life and experiences plus audience Q&A. He opens and closes the program with a song.

Program #2 – A 90-minute hybrid presentation of storytelling and lecture about BD’s personal journey, complemented by singing throughout (with piano accompaniment) and concluding with a Q&A session.

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Change, Hope, and Equality for Asian-Americans
"Following Foo..." The Family Redefined
Books & Other Works
  • M. Butterfly
  • Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man)
  • Pacific Overtures
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
“BD was terrific. He connected well with students in the morning and during his presentation and Q&A. He also stayed until he had provided autographs to everyone in a LONG line waiting for one. He is extraordinarily thoughtful and attentive, and he delivered the important message to students to not give up and to complete their College educations with more eloquence and genuine emotion than any Compelling Conversations speaker in the series’ ten-year history. In short, a home run all around.”
Bunker Hill Community College
“On behalf of ACPA I want to thank you for working with us in getting BD to close our convention. BD Wong was beyond delightful, charismatic, engaging and very easy to work with yesterday. His session was attended by well over 2500 convention-goers and well received. I particularly appreciated his willingness to understand what we do and to incorporate his life experiences into how we could be better practitioners on our college campuses. His remarks both at the reception and closing ceremony were relevant, timely and built upon the opening remarks made by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry on Monday. Please share our thanks with BD and know that I’d be happy to serve as a reference if other organizations are considering him as speaker!”
ACPA College Student Education International
“Kudos are still coming in from students and faculty about BD Wong's visit - they loved him! I'm hearing "intelligent," "friendly," "down to earth," "inspiring" and "insightful" in response to his message and classroom visit. What can I add? He's a delight!”
Johnson & Wales University
“BD was too wonderful to communicate in mere words. Smart, thoughtful, articulate, kind -- brilliant in class, fabulous evening lecture, terrific with Q&A, so very kind and generous with autographs and pictures with hundreds of students, faculty and community people. And always charming.”
University of Rhode Island
“BD Wong was a huge success. ...he was honest, straight forward and warm. ... The students loved him.”
Grand Rapids Community College, Diversity Lecture Series
“It was a pleasure to have BD Wong here for the 1997 Atlantic Coast Asian American Student Union Conference. His speech was very inspiring, and he left a deep impression on all the conference participants.”
Shoreline Community College
“Just finished a fantastic event with BD. I heard people say it was the best ever. (We’ve done this luncheon for 10 years!)”
Providence Hospice of Seattle Foundation
“The BD Wong event was wonderful! ...The response by staff, faculty, and students was overwhelmingly positive and Mr. Wong was regarded by many on campus to be among the most charismatic, personable speakers Colgate has had in years.”
Carnegie Mellon University
“Our university embraced the man and the message and BD Wong embraced the university back in every way, shape, and form so we could not be any happier with his visit. We had close to 1000 students in attendance at the main event, which is one third of our undergraduate student enrollment at Mansfield, simply an amazing percentage of students not only attending but engaged throughout his presentation.”
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
“...I could not imagine how it could have been any more perfect than it was. This was my thirteenth MACUHO Conference and this is the first time in my memory that a keynote speaker received a standing ovation. Your words were powerful, sincere, and very moving. It is impossible for me to put into words just how far you exceeded our hopes and expectations for your presentation.”
Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers
“BD Wong was wonderful! He was charismatic and charming and funny, perfect with every group of people he came into contact with After his speech and Q&A he stayed to sign autographs and have pictures taken with audience members. It was a wonderful way to end the visit.”
Quad City Arts
“I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it was to host your lecture at Northwestern last night! I was so impressed with the audience participation and genuine interest in the discussion. The students clearly loved having you with us and they left in a spirited dialogue”
University of Findlay
“The conference (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education) was an extremely successful event, ...thank you for bringing such a powerful message to this important national conference.”
University of Oklahoma
“Your lecture gave us a clearer understanding of cultural diversity. The audience was enthralled with your stories. Guests commented that they experienced a strong sense of self-motivation. We all anxiously await your next movie! Thank you for making this a memorable evening for the Savannah College of Art and Design as well as for Savannah.”
Savannah College of Art and Design
“Thank you for your participation in the 1999 People of Color Conference and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference. The conference was a huge success and your enthusiastic participation allowed the 700 students present to have a unique and rewarding experience.”
National Association of Independent Schools
“Thank you for inspiring us with your wonderful presentation and message of hope.”
Tuscon Unified School District
“The event was great! We had approx. 500 people in the audience.”
Loyola College
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