Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente in Triumphant Return to NY Stage in Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS

Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” “Hemlock Grove”) made a triumphant return to the New York stage in his Drama Desk nominated role as Gordon Hirabayashi and 30 other characters in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture for a limited December run.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Hold These Truths landed on Theaterscene.net’s 2017 10 Best List and Jonathan Mandell’s New York Theater blog citing his Favorite New York Stage Performances in 2017.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Theaterscene.net: A 2017 10 Best List- Darryl Reilly

“First seen in New York City in 2012, playwright Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths powerfully explored the fate of a Japanese-American’s resistance to the Japanese internment during W.W.II. Joel de la Fuente magnificently portrayed Gordon Hirabayashi from youth to old age and a gallery of other characters.”

Read the full review below.

Theaterscene.net: Hold These Truths- Joel de la Fuente is magnificent in this powerful solo play that depicts a Japanese-American’s resistance to the Japanese internment during W.W.II.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Jonathan Mandell’s New York Theater: Favorite New York Stage Performances in 2017

“In “Hold These Truths,” Joel de la Fuente portrays Gordon Hirabayashi, a 2012 posthumous winner of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom who was imprisoned during  World War II for openly defying the internment of Japanese-Americans. De la Fuente’s performance is subtle and shows great skill, portraying the low-key protagonist and countless characters with whom he came into contact, from Hirabayashi’s Japanese immigrant parents to his Quaker girlfriend to a Southern sheriff to a streetwise New York City ticket-taker to the individual Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Laura Collins-Hughes of The New York Times writes, “Hold These Truths,” elegantly directed by Lisa Rothe in a top-notch production for the company Hang a Tale, is a gripping story about a shameful chapter of our history, when the United States government looked at its own people and saw the enemy. It is also the gentlest of these three shows. That’s partly because its action (aided by all-around excellent design: set by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, lighting by Cat Tate Starmer, music and sound by Daniel Kluger) takes place at the greatest historical remove.

It’s also because of Joel de la Fuente’s endearing solo performance, which vividly — and, more often than you’d think, comically — renders Gordon and the constellation of people around him.”

The many faces of Joel de la Fuente in Jeanne Sakata's HOLD THESE TRUTHS. Photo by Lia Chang
The many faces of Joel de la Fuente in Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Hold These Truths is inspired by this true story from a little-known chapter of American history, when civil liberties were under attack, constitutional rights violated, and issues of race hotly debated by a divided country. Joel de la Fuente (Inspector Kido on Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) stars as civil rights pioneer and 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Gordon Hirabayashi.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Hold These Truths originally received its New York Premiere with Epic Theatre Ensemble in 2012 and Joel de la Fuente was nominated for the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.

HANG A TALE is a New York City based, non-profit theater company. Jesse Liebman, Kim Martin-Cotten and Michael Arden Larson have come together to create intimate, actor-driven productions for the Off-Broadway stage.

Jesse Liebman, Lisa Rothe, Jeanne Sakata, Kim Martin-Cotten, Joel de la Fuente, Michael Wurl Larson. Photo by Lia Chang
Jesse Liebman, Lisa Rothe, Jeanne Sakata, Kim Martin-Cotten, Joel de la Fuente, Michael Wurl Larson. Photo by Lia Chang

Our mission is to reexamine, reimagine and reinvigorate stories for the theater. We seek tales of universality, old and new, that transcend the limitations of time. We search for stories that inspire us and start conversations about our lives and the world around us. We do not to limit ourselves to any particular playwright or style. We embrace our diverse, dynamic surroundings and remain open to co-creation and inclusiveness. Go to www.hangatale.org for more information.

Michael Wurl Larson, a guest, Mikiko Suzuki Adams, Mary K. Botosan, Joel de la Fuente, Cat Tate Starmer, Kim Martin- Cotten, Vanessa Morosco, Lisa Rothe, Jesse Liebman Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Wurl Larson, a guest, Mikiko Suzuki Adams, Mary K. Botosan, Joel de la Fuente, Cat Tate Starmer, Kim Martin- Cotten, Vanessa Morosco, Lisa Rothe, Jesse Liebman Photo by Lia Chang

nbcnews.com: Hold These Truths” examines how Gordon Hirabayashi challenged the constitutionality of the forced relocation of Japanese American”s during World War

stagebuddy.com: Review: Hold These Truths

urbanexcavations.com: HIrabayashi Lives, Defending the US Constitution On 

TDF.org: Why You Need to Hear Gordon Hirabayashi’s Story

Francis Jue, Famke Janssen, Uzo Aduba, Madeleine Martin, Glenn Fleshler, John Ellison Conlee, Garth Kravits and More Celebrate Joel de la Fuente at Opening Night of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: First Look at Joel De La Fuente in HOLD THESE TRUTHS at The Sheen Center

Theatermania.com: 11 Asian-American Shows to Watch For in the 2017-18 Season

ncronline.org: Gordon Hirabayashi’s battle is newly timely onstage in ‘Hold These Truths’

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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