Sunday, Sept. 30 @ 7:30pm | Tickets: $25
Hold These Truths
Written by Jeanne Sakata
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
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. michaelhisamoto.com
Jeanne Sakata is a renowned actor and playwright known for using her passion, versatility, talent and wit to provoke public conversation about culturally significant topics. Jeanne’s talents span across theater, film, television, and voiceover, with upcoming productions in 2017-18 of her nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance) at Sheen Center/Hang A Tale Productions in NYC, Lyric Stage Company in Boston, and the Arena Stage in Washington DC; guest star and recurring roles on Big Hero 6, Dr. Ken, and Bravo TV’s True Fiction; acclaimed comic turns onstage in Calligraphy at TheatreWorks and LA Times 2015 Critic’s Choice Figaro at A Noise Within, and her voice work as Soon Yang in Jennifer Phang’s acclaimed indie sci-fi film, Advantageous, streaming exclusively on Netflix (US Dramatic Special Jury Award for Collaborative Vision, 2015 Sundance Film Festival; 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award Nomination).
Hold These Truths is inspired by the true story of civil rights pioneer Gordon Hirabayashi, to whom President Obama posthumously awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2012. After its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players, and subsequent workshops with the Lark Play Development Center and the the New York Theatre Workshop, the play made its off-Broadway debut in 2012 with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, and has since been performed at Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, the Guthrie Theater, Perseverance Theatre, Seattle’s ACT Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company, New Century Theatre, Honolulu Theatre For Youth (co-produced with Daniel Dae Kim), TerraNOVA Collective, People’s Light & Theatre, Plays and Players, Coachella Valley Rep, and Silk Road Rising. Hold These Truths has attracted rave reviews from The New Yorker, Washington Post and AP critics, as well as additional raves across the country. The script, published in Japan Studies Association Journal in 2010, is currently on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC, where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in July 2011.
Throughout her more than 30-year career, Jeanne has been honored as an actor for dynamic portrayals in both comedy and drama. Called a “local treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, her talent has been reflected onscreen in NCIS Angeles, NUMB3RS, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Desperate Housewives, Presidio Med, ER, Threat Matrix, Line of Fire, American Family, John Ridley’s I Got You, Hiroshima, and Sex and Marriage, a Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) YOMYOMF YouTube webseries. A recipient of the LA Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress for her cross-gender portrayal of Master Hua in Chay Yew’s Red, she has recently developed and performed new works with the La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, Sundance Theatre Institute and Ojai Playwrights Conference, as well as the East West Players, the nation’s premiere Asian American theatre. She has also performed with The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Northlight Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Berkeley Rep, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage and the Arizona Theatre Company, and is a member of LA’s acclaimed classical group, the Antaeus Company. Other special honors include the 2016 Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community from Playwrights’ Arena, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre Outstanding Artist Award, City of Pasadena Certificate of Recogntion for Hold These Truths; the Monaco Charity Film Festival Best Actress Award (Adultolescence), Stage Scene Outstanding Performance mention (Master Class), Entertainment Today Best Supporting Actress Award (A Winter People), and the Drama-Logue Outstanding Performance Award (The Maids).
Jeanne resides in Los Angeles with her husband Tim, and together they enjoy traveling, cooking and baking, reading, writing, hiking, charity work, and music.