Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Barrington Stage Company?
The play features Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. De La Duente received a Theatre Bay Area Award for "Outstanding Principal Performance" during the play's run in San Francisco, and a Drama Desk Award nomination for "Outstanding Solo Performance" when it debuted in New York in 2012.
Hold These Truths tells the story of unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi as he fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government's orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.
The creative team for Barrington Stage's production includes Lisa Rothe (Director), Daniel Kluger (Sound Design), Cat Tate Starmer (Lighting Designer), Mikiko Susuki Macadams (Scenic Designer), Margaret E. Weedon (Costume Designer) and Mary K. Botosan (Production Stage Manager).
For more information on Hold These Truths, tap here.
Let's check out what the critics have to say about the production...
Jeffrey Borak, Berkshire Eagle: De la Fuente spins all of this with ease, grace and authenticity. He assumes the voices and stances of Hirabayashi at various ages, as well as significant people in his life, with unassuming skill. It's an appealing, clean, lucid, crisply defined performance that is very much at one with an approach by director Lisa Rothe that is the essence of simplicity. Less definitely is more.
Timesunion Staff, Timesunion: Sakata's story, seamlessly told by de la Fuente and Rothe on a stage that's bare except for a suitcase, a few chairs and a window at the back, moves us easily through the years and the legal cases, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rules against Gordon. It's a sickening history lesson, richly illuminated by one man's story, that dips into didacticism slightly in the last 10 minutes. But this is a lesson that needs to be repeated, stridently if necessary, because as today's headlines remind us daily, affronts to the Constitution by those at the the highest level of American power isn't only a sad fact of history.
Macey Levin, Curtain Up: By focusing on Hirabayashi's history, playwright Sakata's script is straightforward and simple story-telling. The structure of the dialogue is tight and crisp. There are no wasted words, no wasted images. . .everything spoken is important and direct. She tells a sometimes gruesome story in an engrossing manner. For instance, the description of the conditions in the internment camp is horrendous in its detail. Ironically, she notes that while American military and police forces are tearing Japanese-Americans from their homes and placing them in concentration camps, the United States is fighting the Germans who are doing the exact same thing to the Jews of Europe. It's difficult to accept that this is what our government foisted upon its citizens. Yet, throughout the script, though victimized by the system, she and Hirabayashi continue to defend the precepts of the Constitution.