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HOLD THESE TRUTHS Live Virtual Reading Will Celebrate AAPI Theatre Artists This Month

The evening is co-directed by Jessica Kubzansky and Margaret Shigeko Starbuck.

HOLD THESE TRUTHS Live Virtual Reading Will Celebrate AAPI Theatre Artists This Month

Created in response to the sharp rise in hate directed toward the AAPI community over the past few years, Boston Court Pasadena, East West Players, and Pasadena Playhouse have joined forces to share a virtual reading of Jeanne Sakata's timely solo play Hold These Truths. The evening is co-directed by Jessica Kubzansky and Margaret Shigeko Starbuck.

All proceeds raised through this event will go to the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists and the incredible work they do to promote AAPI artists and to contribute to our national theatre ecology. You are invited to this special event to honor, support, and uplift our amazing community of AAPI Theatre Artists.

Hold These Truths, an exceptional evening of theatrical storytelling, tells the inspirational true story of a civil rights hero, Gordon Hirabayashi, who took his World War ll fight for his constitutional rights all the way to the Supreme Court. Playwright Jeanne Sakata relayed to Broadway World, "In the 1990's, I saw on PBS a documentary film made by John de Graaf called A Personal Matter: Hirabayashi vs. The United States, where I first learned about Gordon. And I was just floored, because here was this absolutely riveting story about a young Japanese American college student who had taken such a brave stand for his rights as an American citizen, and I had never heard about him. It was fascinating, and enthralling, and also upsetting at the same time. I asked myself the same question that many people ask when they come to see the play: "Why haven't I heard this story before? Why isn't it in our history books?" After that, I became absolutely obsessed with the story and determined that I was going to find out everything I could about it."

75 years ago, Executive Order 9066 called for all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast to be ripped from their homes and forced into barbed-wire prison camps, without due process of law. Amid the chaos, one young student stood up for what he passionately believed were his rights as an American citizen. Based on a true story which follows the life of civil rights hero Gordon Hirabayashi, Hold These Truths is a shockingly relevant cautionary tale of the injustices perpetrated when nationalism, fear, and hysteria collide.

This live-streamed event features six of the wonderful actors who have given tour-de-force solo performances as Gordon in Hold These Truths productions across the country and around the world. The event will be hosted by Tamlyn Tomita and Sean Miura and live-streamed on Monday, February 28th at 6PM PST. All attendees must register by visiting . The event will be available as a video on demand for 48 hours following the live-stream on the 28th.

Playwright Jeanne Sakata says, "It's been an incredible joy and honor to have worked with so many brilliant AAPI actors who have performed Hold These Truths over the last 15 years, and who have shared Gordon Hirabayashi's story all across the country. With six of those actors - Ryun Yu, Greg Watanabe, Michael Hisamoto, Hansel Tan, Jomar Tagatac, and Steven Eng - now joining forces to raise money for CAATA so that more AAPI artists can share their stories as well, I'm grateful to be reminded of the great power of our individual and collective voices in combating the anti-AAPI hate and violence of our times-the same forces that our parents and grandparents faced so courageously before us-and to celebrate these stories that tell the world, "we are here, and we are here to stay."

"On behalf of the Board of Directors of CAATA, we have long been fans of playwright Jeanne Sakata and her powerful play about the life of American hero Gordon Hirabayashi, and his resistance to the Japanese American incarceration during World War II," said CAATA Board President Leslie Ishii. "We are grateful to our member theater East West Players, as well as Boston Court Pasadena and Pasadena Playhouse for designating CAATA the recipient of this benefit. Funds raised will go directly toward CAATA's programs to advance the field of Asian and Pacific Islander American theater through our national network of organizations and artists, and we thank you for your support."

CAATA says, "Our mission is to advance the field of Asian American theater through a national network of organizations and artists. We collaborate to inspire learning and sharing of knowledge, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology. As a collective of Asian American theater leaders and artists, we bring together local and regional leaders to work nationally toward our shared values of social justice, artistic diversity, cultural equity and inclusion. We hold national conferences and festivals biennially in different parts of the country, reaching as wide a range of Asian American populations and communities as possible. We survey Asian American theater artists and organizations to find out their foremost concerns. We form alliances with other theater groups of different affinities to advance mutual goals cooperatively and to exchange ideas and strategies." (

HOLD THESE TRUTHS Live Virtual Reading Will Celebrate AAPI Theatre Artists This Month

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