Pan Asian Rep to Present NO NO BOY, 5/14-18

By: Apr. 21, 2014

PAN ASIAN REPERTORY THEATRE will present a special limited run of NO-NO BOY by Ken Narasaki, directed by Ron Nakahara and based on the novel by John Okada, set in the aftermath of WWII as Japanese Americans return to the West Coast. Called "eloquent...elegant and searing" by LA Weekly, NO-NO BOY will run from May 14-18, 2014 at the Studio Theatre at Theatre Row (410 W. 42nd Street), with official opening on May 15 at 7:30PM.

The play follows draft resister Ichiro Yamada after he is released from prison and struggles to come to terms with his choices, while the rest of the community tries to get back on its feet after a war that has uprooted them all. Ken Narasaki's vivid adaptation depicts Ichiro's search for resolution among family, friends, and a community in transition following the resettlement of Japanese Americans on the West Coast after the war.

"NO-NO BOY is full of characters I've never seen on any stage," Says Ken Narasaki, "Angry, self-destructive...wondering if they'll ever find the America that was once promised to them. Their nihilism is part of what makes them so vividly alive, proving that young people are the same in every generation - there exists an entire spectrum of feeling, and the darker hues of NO-NO BOY's characters are ones not often seen in literature about the Nisei."

Continuing Pan Asian's 37th Season with focus on migration and social justice, NO-NO BOY is a dramatization of the iconic text that explores the human repercussions of the internment and resettlement eras, and a fractured community's search for resolution and healing. Artistic Producing Director Tisa Chang notes that, "Consistent with PAN ASIAN's mission, we are proud to bring to life a dark and misunderstood aspect of recent American history that some still want to remain buried." Special thanks to the Japanese American National Museum for outreach.

The cast of NO-NO BOY features Kimiye Corwin, Chris Doi, Glenn Kubota, Karen Tsen Lee, Whit K. Lee, Claro de los Reyes, Shigeko Sara Suga, Hansel Tan, Tony Vo, and Scott Watanabe. Stage Managers are Elis Arroyo and Katie Kavett.

Playwright KEN NARASAKI's plays include the recent adaptation of NO-NO BOY, award-winning plays INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM (winner 2006 Kuma Kahua Pacific Rim Award), and THE MIKADO PROJECT (co-written with Doris Baizley - winner, 2008 Kuma Kahua Pacific Rim Award), and GHOSTS AND BAGGAGE. As an actor, he starred in ZWEI PROFIS for German television, and appeared in Lane Nishikawa's ONLY THE BRAVE; he's also appeared in nearly 60 plays, including PO BOY TANGO, A WINTER PEOPLE, THEORY OF EVERYTHING, in Chicago, Los Angeles, Singapore, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, and elsewhere.

Director Ron Nakahara has been an actor/director in New York City since 1979 and was designated a Senior Artist with that city's PAN ASIAN REPERTORY THEATRE in 1987. He was then named Artistic Associate for the company and continues in that position today. Ron has directed one-woman shows at Don't Tell Mama and The Duplex, and has worked extensively with and directed the Asian-American performance group SLANT at La MaMa ETC, and NYSF Public Theatre. His other directing credits in New York include NAATCO, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. His regional credits include The Studio Theatre (Washington, DC), Hartford Stage Co., Fulton Opera House (Lancaster, PA) where his production of Miss Ever's Boys won him a best director award, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, New York State Theatre Institute, Hangar Theatre (Ithaca,) Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Virginia Stage Company (Norfolk,) and Actor's Theatre of Louisville. In addition, Ron has also directed for New York University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served on several NEA panels and was one of the first recipients of an NEA/TCG Directing Fellowship. He is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA, and AEA.

The technical team includes set design by Sheryl Liu (FISHING FOR WIVES), light design by Tsubasa Kamei, costume design by Carol Pelletier (DOJOJI, FISHING FOR WIVES) and sound design by Ian Wehrle (FISHING FOR WIVES).

Performances of NO-NO BOY are on: Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30pm with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm.

Tickets are $37 and can be purchased by calling 212-239-6200 or online at For instructions on how to receive discounts for groups, seniors and students, and a schedule of weekday student matinee performances for middle and high school students, call 212-868-4030.

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