Japanese Internment Historians to Appear at HTY's HOLD THESE TRUTHS Post-Show Panel, Today
A post-show panel discussion featuring Japanese internment historians has been added to the Sunday, February 24 performance of the acclaimed Off-Broadway play HOLD THESE TRUTHS, Jeanne Sakata's one-man show inspired by the true story of second generation Japanese-American Gordon Hirabayashi. HOLD THESE TRUTHS is in Hawaii for a limited engagement of six performances at Honolulu Theatre for Youth's Tenney Theatre, February 21 - March 2, 2013 and features acclaimed actor, Joel de la Fuente.
The panel welcomes filmmaker Ryan Kawamoto (THE UNTOLD STORY: INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE AMERICANS IN HAWAII), writer/producer Tom Coffman (NATION WITHIN), Japanese Chamber of Commerce president Carole Hayashino, and Honouliuli internment camp researcher Jane Kurahara; it will be moderated by journalist/reporter Mike Gordon. Attendance is included in the admission price for that day's performance.
HOLD THESE TRUTHS RUN DATES:
OPENING NIGHT Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday February 22 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday February 24 at 3:00 p.m. **POST SHOW PANEL 4:45 P.M.**
Thursday February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
CLOSING NIGHT Saturday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m.
General admission is $20 for adults; $15 for students/seniors; limited premium seating available for $30. Tickets may be ordered online at www.htyweb.org or by calling HTY at (808) 839-9885.
Directed by Lisa Rothe and starring actor Joel de la Fuente (the principal talent behind the original Epic Theatre Ensemble New York production in October 2012), HOLD THESE TRUTHS is presented by producer/actor Daniel Dae Kim and Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY). The production is dedicated to the memory of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, an American hero who was directly affected by the themes of the play. Proceeds will support the non-profit theatre and drama education programs of HTY.
HOLD THESE TRUTHS is set in Seattle during World War II, where Hirabayashi, a University of Washington student, is agonizing over U.S. government orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he fights to reconcile his country's betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution, Hirabayashi journeys toward a greater understanding of America's triumphs-and a confrontation with its failures.
President Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hirabayashi (1918-2012), the nation's highest civilian honor, in April 2012.
Daniel Dae Kim said, "I was deeply moved by HOLD THESE TRUTHS when I saw it in New York. Having lived in Hawaii for almost nine years now, I recognized how inspiring Gordon Hirabayashi's story would be to our community. Given the islands' unique connection to World War II through the 442nd Infantry and 100th Combat Battalion, bringing this production seemed to be a natural fit. It's a beautifully written, expertly acted and directed piece that ultimately reaffirms what it means to be American. I'm honored to have the opportunity, with HTY, to bring it to Hawaii."
Kim and de la Fuente have been close friends since their days together in the Graduate Acting Program at NYU. Kim said, "Not only is he a very dear friend, but a superb actor who's deserving of all the success he's enjoyed with HOLD THESE TRUTHS. Watching an artist of his caliber perform live is a great opportunity for people of Hawaii to see a world class performance."
Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi (1918-2012) was an American sociologist best known for his resistance to the Japanese-American internment during World War II. He was one of the only three to openly defy it. After being convicted for curfew violation he was sentenced to 90 days in prison. The verdict was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Hirabayashi v. United States (1943). They unanimously ruled against him. He later spent a year in federal prison for refusing induction into the armed forces after they had sent out a racially discriminatory survey to Japanese-Americans demanding renunciation of allegiance to the emperor of Japan. In 1987, the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit overturned his conviction from 1943. In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hirabayashi for his principled stand against Japanese-American internment.
Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi). Most recently, Joel appeared onstage for the New York Premiere of "Hold These Truths" for the Epic Theater (Lisa Rothe, dir.). On screen, he stars in the feature film "Brief Reunion," which won the Audience Choice Award at the Gotham International Film Festival and will be available on demand in 2013. This spring, Joel will appear in the original series, "Hemlock Grove," exclusively on Netflix. Selected New York theatrical credits include: Ivanov in "Ivanov" (Mint Theater/ NAATCO, Jonathan Bank, dir.); "The Downtown Plays" (Tribeca Theater Festival, John Rando, dir.); Claudio in "Beatrice and Benedict" with the New York Philharmonic (conducted by Sir Colin Davis); "The Square" (Lisa Petersen, dir.); "America Dreaming" (Michael Mayer, dir.); Valentine in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" (NYSF, Adrian Hall, dir.). In 2005, Joel served as the Artistic Associate of the National Asian American Theater Company. In addition to "Ivanov," Joel has also appeared with NAATCO in the world premiere of "Cowboy v. Samurai;" "Air Raid;" "Fuente Ovejuna (David Herskovitz, dir.);" and as Iago in "Othello" (also directed by Jonathan Bank). Other theatrical credits include: Vershinin in "The Three Sisters" (Chautauqua Theatre Conservatory, Brian Mertes, dir.); Ariel in "The Tempest" (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Florizel in "The Winter's Tale" (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Darko Tresjnak, dir.); Chay Yew's "Wonderland" (La Jolla Playhouse, Lisa Petersen, dir.); Liu Mengmei in the Peter Sellars' production of "The Peony Pavilion" which performed in Vienna, Rome, Paris, and London's Barbican Centre.On television, Joel spent ten seasons appearing as TARU technician Ruben Morales in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." He was a series regular on the Fox drama, "Space: Above & Beyond;" and has had recurring roles on: "E.R.;" "High Incident;" and the Sidney Lumet series, "100 Centre Street." Additional film credits include: "Personal Velocity" (Sundance Jury Prize Winner, Best Film); "The Adjustment Bureau;" "The Happening;" "Heights"; "Return to Paradise"; "From Other Worlds;" and "Forgetting the Girl."As a writer, Joel's essay on his experiences as an Asian American actor is published in Pyong Gap Min's "Struggle for Ethnic Identity," and he is a co-writer of "Life Document 2: Identity" with Ayad Akthar, which won the Columbia Students Award for Best Film in 2002.Joel is an alumnus oF Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at N.Y.U.
Lisa Rothe (Director). Recent Credits: Penelope (Playmakers Repertory Theatre); Ada (Center for Contemporary Opera). Directed and/or developed in NY: The Foundry, New Georges, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, BAM, Summer Play Festival (SPF), NYMF, Midtown InterNational Theatre Festival (Best Director), The Women's Project, National Actors Theater, Keen Company (Keen Teens), Orchard Project, Voice & Vision, HERE, Dixon Place. Regionally: Synchronicity Theatre, Chautauqua Theatre, Vermont Stage Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare Theatre, The New Harmony Project, Riverside Theatre, Seaside Shakespeare (Nantucket), among others. Director of Offsite Programs and Partnerships at the Lark Play Development Center.
Jeanne Sakata's (Playwright) Hold These Truths had its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players, co-presented by the Japanese American National Museum, UCLA Department of Asian American Studies, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. It was subsequently developed with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the Lark Play Development Center, and the New York Theatre Workshop. It was presented in 2011 in Chicago with Silk Road Rising/Millennium Park, and is now part of the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC. Jeanne is also a renowned actress whose many accolades include an LA Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress for Chay Yew's Red at EWP, and a 2011 Outstanding Artist Award for career achievement by Los Angeles' Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theatre.
Honolulu Theatre for Youth is Hawaii's non-profit professional theatre company providing theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of Hawaii's young people and families. Founded in 1955, HTY is recognized the world over as one of America's most honored theatres.