HOLD THESE TRUTHS
by Jeanne Sakata
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush
Choreography by Jubilith Moore
Featuring Michael Hisamoto*, with Khloe Alice Lin, Gary Thomas Ng*, Samantha Richert*
Hold These Truths is the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants, who resisted internment during World War II, a policy which continues to be cited and debated today. Michael Hisamoto (Stage Kiss) plays Hirabayashi, a college student and a Quaker, whose hope and unquenchable patriotism over 50 years will leave audiences cheering.
"An extraordinary relevant message for today!" — Chicago Star Tribune
"Absorbing, rewarding, surprisingly humorous and openhearted!" — Seattle Times
Told through flashbacks, Hirabayashi takes us through his early life, challenging the curfew and exclusion orders in 1942. In a virtuosic turn, Hisamoto portrays not only Hirabayashi, but also his parents, college friends, lawyers, military leaders, Supreme Court justices, Hopi Indians he meets in prison, and the Arizona prison boss who can't figure out why he has hitchhiked down the California coast for his own imprisonment. His storytelling is assisted by a trio of kurogo — traditional Japanese stage hands — choreographed by Jubilith Moore and directed by Benny Sato Ambush.
He may have lost his case when he was alive, but Hirabayashi, a Quaker ("God is in each heart, not in a church") and a University of Washington student who was active in the YMCA leadership training program, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 by President Barack Obama. Paving the way to Hirabayashi's ultimate victory, legal historian Peter Irons discovered myriad military documents, letters, and memos admitting that confining Japanese Americans to camps had not been a necessary security measure: The camps, they implied, were created out of hysteria and racism. Full of theatricality and humanity, Hold These Truths celebrates resistance and offers startling parallels for contemporary politics.
Season Sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey and Bank of America
Production sponsored by Mary and Doug Woodruff
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