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.