New Jersey Repertory Company is presenting the world premiere of Chloé Hung’s Issei, He Say, (Or the Myth of the First), April 19 through May 20, 2018. Winner of an Edgerton New Play award, Issei, He Say will be directed by Lisa James and stars Stan Egi as Mr. Yamamoto, Kathleen Kwan as Mrs. Chu, Fenton Li as Mr. Chu, and Christina Liang as Lucy Chu. New Jersey Repertory Company is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, NJ.
Lucy Chu, the central character, is a thirteen-year-old girl whose family has emigrated from Hong Kong to Ontario in 1969. They wind up living next to Mr. Yamamoto, a Japanese-Canadian, who spent WWII in a Canadian internment camp. Haunted by memories of Japanese atrocities during the siege of Nanking, Lucy’s father holds his neighbor personally responsible, and forbids Lucy to speak to Mr. Yamamoto. But the rebellious teenager reaches out to her kind neighbor, who can relate to her difficulties and help guide her through the struggles she encounters in her day-to-day life. Prejudices and hatred between the two families reach a boiling point and Lucy is caught in the middle.
Issei, He Say is a story about family, told with humor and pathos. It’s about being the first generation in a new country, the ups-and-downs of fitting in, the weight of the history they carry with them, and the prejudices that continue to haunt them.
Issei, He Say (Or the Myth of the First) runs April 19 through May 20, 2018. Previews are Thursday and Friday, April 19, and 20 at 8:00 PM, and Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 PM. Opening night with reception is Saturday, April 21 at 8:00 PM.
Performances are Thursdays, Fridays 8:00 PM: Saturdays 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Sundays 2:00 PM through May 20, 2018.