Sunday, Sept. 23 @ 7:30pm  |  Tickets: $25

Hold These Truths

Written by Jeanne Sakata |  Directed by Benny Sato Ambush

During WWII in Seattle, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi fights the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the US Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs—and a confrontation with its failures.

In May 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Gordon Hirabayashi the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“I wish the current White House, along with young people throughout the nation, could be compelled to attend HOLD THESE TRUTHS…the story of Gordon Hirabayashi reminds us that it is precisely when our bedrock vaues are hardest to defend that we must stand most firmly behind them.” Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, June 2017

“The powerful and moving story of one man, who, in his own words, ‘could not give up on the Constitution.’” StageScene LA

“A play where one man’s singular story, so full of heart and heartbreak, can speak to the struggles of an entire nation.” New York Theatre

BENNY SATO AMBUSH (Director) Gloucester Stage: Lettice and Lovage, Driving Miss Daisy, MASTER HAROLD…and the boys. A former Artistic Director of three theatres (two of them professional), an educator, consultant, former National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) panelist/site evaluator and published commentator, he served the past nine years as Senior Distinguished Producing Director-In-Residence of Emerson Stage, the producing wing of the Department of Performing Arts (PA) at Emerson College, and taught on PA’s acting and directing faculty. Prior artistic leadership (select): Acting Artistic Director—Rites and Reason Theatre Company, Providence, RI; Producing Artistic Director—Oakland (CA) Ensemble Theatre (SPT); Associate Artistic Director—San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater; Co-Artistic Director—San Francisco Bay Area Playwrights Festival; PEW Charitable Trust/TCG Director in Residence—Florida Stage; Associate Artistic Director—Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University; Producing Artistic Director—TheatreVirginia (LORT C). Many directing credits at professional regional theatres and universities throughout the U.S. and the Boston region. He taught acting and directing at the BA, BFA and MFA levels at several universities and colleges throughout the nation. He has served on numerous regional and national boards, including Theatre Communications Group (TCG), adjudicates nationally and internationally for the American Association of Community Theatres, is a Steering Committee member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers, a member of The National Theatre Conference, panelist for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. MFA—University of California, San Diego; BA—Brown University.

Michael Hisamoto* is a Boston-based actor, playwright, educator, and director. Recent acting credits include Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Hold These Truths, Stage Kiss, Fast Company (Lyric Stage), Charlotte’s Web (Wheelock Family Theatre), Allegiance (SpeakEasy Stage Company) Yellow Face (The Office of War Information), The Ordinary Epic (Crose to Home Productions), and The Important Thing about Earthquakes (Watertown Children’s Theatre). A strong proponent of new work, Michael has developed and workshopped new plays for companies like The Huntington Theatre Company, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, HowlRound, MIT, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Fresh Ink Theatre Company, and more. In addition to his acting work, Michael was a Playwriting Resident at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, and has directed or assistant directed on numerous productions across Boston, and briefly led a children’s theatre troupe in Southern California, where he was also recognized for his work as a youth in the theatre by the California State Assembly and Senate. Michael believes in educating the next generation of artists, teaching and having taught at multiple institutions, and happily offers career consultation free of charge to young artists of color. Michael is a graduate of The Orange County High School of the Arts and holds a B.F.A. from Boston University. Michael is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Jeanne Sakata