Jeanne Sakata, Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu after the opening night performance of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage.

Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ D.C. Photo Diary

Jeanne Sakata at Arena Stage.
Jeanne Sakata at Arena Stage.

Happy birthday to Jeanne Sakata, who is currently rehearsing Romeo and Juliet: A Requiem at People’s Light in Malvern, PA.

Stephen Novelli, Jeanne Sakata, Marcia Saunders, Terri Lamm, Brian Anthony Wilson and Graham Smith.
Stephen Novelli, Jeanne Sakata, Marcia Saunders, Terri Lamm, Brian Anthony Wilson and Graham Smith.

People’s Light Excavates the Price of Passion in “Romeo & Juliet: A Requiem,” April 25 – May 27

For the past two months, she has been traveling from her home base of Los Angelese to support the Washington D.C. premiere of her critically acclaimed one-man drama Hold These Truths, which tells the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order when America placed its own citizens in internment camps during World War II.

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The Washington D.C. premiere at Arena Stage starring Ryun Yu and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, ends its virtually sold-out run on April 10th in the Kogod Cradle, 1101 Sixth St., SW, Washington, DC. Click here for tickets and more information.

Dcmetrotheaterarts.com critic John Stoltenberg writes, “Director Jessica Kubzansky has melded the play and the performance artfully so that what animates Hirabayashi and what animates our nation’s ideals become vividly present both onstage and in our hearts and minds…I cannot overstate how timely and worth seeing Hold These Truths is. The production is impeccable. Ryan Yu’s performance as Gordon Hirabayashi is inspiring. But it is the play’s resonant content—about what makes America great and what doesn’t—that really gets us where we live right now.”

Below are a few of Jeanne’s favorite photos during the course of the rehearsal and the run.

Director Jessica Kubzansky and Artistic Director Molly Smith. Photo courtesy of Arena Stage.
Director Jessica Kubzansky and Artistic Director Molly Smith. Photo courtesy of Arena Stage.

Jeanne Sakata, Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu after the opening night performance of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage.
Jeanne Sakata, Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu after the opening night performance of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage.

Ryun Yu, who in 2007 “brilliantly portrayed” (Huffington Post) and originated the role of Gordon Hirabayashi in Hold These Truths, and has since traveled across the country with the show, reprised his performance. In addition to playing Hirabayashi, Yu portrays an additional 36 supplemental characters throughout the production. Kubzansky directed the world premiere in 2007, and many subsequent productions starring Yu.

Director Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu (Gordon Hirabayashi) at the opening night for Hold These Truths, March 2, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman.
Director Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu (Gordon Hirabayashi) at the opening night for Hold These Truths, March 2, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman.
Jessica Kubzansky, John Zalewski, Selene Betancourt, Christi Spann, Ryun Yu, Ben Zamora, Jeanne Sakata and Alice Hawfield.
Jessica Kubzansky, John Zalewski, Selene Betancourt, Christi Spann, Ryun Yu, Ben Zamora, Jeanne Sakata and Alice Hawfield.
Jeanne Sakata, Rep. Doris Matsui, David Maxwell, Jessica Kubanzsky, Edgar Dobie, Susan Bralove, Tim Patterson, Joan Maxwell, Steven Bralove.
Jeanne Sakata, Rep. Doris Matsui, David Maxwell, Jessica Kubanzsky, Edgar Dobie, Susan Bralove, Tim Patterson, Joan Maxwell, Steven Bralove.
Jeanne Sakata and Rep. Doris Matsui after the opening night performance of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage.
Jeanne Sakata and Rep. Doris Matsui after the opening night performance of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage.

Sound Designer John Zalewski, Director Jessica Kubzansky, Ryun Yu (Gordon Hirabayashi), Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Set/Lighting Designer Ben Zamora and Arena Stage Executive Director Edgar Dobie at the opening night for Hold These Truths, March 2, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman
Sound Designer John Zalewski, Director Jessica Kubzansky, Ryun Yu (Gordon Hirabayashi), Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Set/Lighting Designer Ben Zamora and Arena Stage Executive Director Edgar Dobie at the opening night for Hold These Truths, March 2, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman
Sound Designer John Zalewski, Director Jessica Kubzansky, Ryun Yu (Gordon Hirabayashi), Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Gordon Hirabayashi’s granddaughter Kai Ethier and her son Louis, Set and Lighting Designer Ben Zamora and Arena StageExecutive Director Edgar Dobie at the opening night for Hold These Truths, March 2, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman
Sound Designer John Zalewski, Director Jessica Kubzansky, Ryun Yu (Gordon Hirabayashi), Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Gordon Hirabayashi’s granddaughter Kai Ethier and her son Louis, Set and Lighting Designer Ben Zamora and Arena Stage Executive Director Edgar Dobie at the opening night for Hold These Truths, March 2, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman

Jeanne Sakata and Victor Vasquez.
Jeanne Sakata and Victor Vasquez.
Elizabeth Kurata, Kenzie Hirai, Jeanne Sakata, David Inoue and Kota Mizutani.
Elizabeth Kurata, Kenzie Hirai, Jeanne Sakata, David Inoue and Kota Mizutani.

Isaac Evans, Jeanne Sakata and Kathryn Perry
Isaac Evans, Jeanne Sakata and Kathryn Perry

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will launch its 49th season with the Regional Premiere of Hold These Truths, July 11- August 5, 2018. Click here for more information.

You can catch Sakata on stage from April 25th – May 27th in Romeo & Juliet: A Requiem at People’s Light in Malvern, PA.

Washington City Paper: America’s Inherent Biases Are At the Forefront of Hold These Truths
America.cgtn.com Play review: “Hold These Truths” shows the risk of being an American
BWW Interview: HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage
Theatermania: All Men Are Not Created Equal in Hold These Truths

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

Jeanne Sakata and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Jeanne Sakata and 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.

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