Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente and More Celebrate Opening Night of HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Barrington Stage

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

Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” “Hemlock Grove”) is reprising his Drama Desk nominated role as Gordon Hirabayashi and 30 other characters in Jeanne Sakata’s powerful and timely award-winning play Hold These Truths for a limited run on the St Germain Stage at The Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA through June 8.

Playwright Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Barrington Stage ushered in their 25th anniversary season with previews of Hold These Truths on May 22 and celebrated opening night on May 25. The production was sponsored in part by Carl and Alfred Maynard & Dick Ziter and Eric Reimer. Scroll down for photos of opening night.

Playwright Jeanne Sakata and Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Lisa Rothe, the creative team also includes scenic design by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, lighting design by Cat Tate Starmer, sound design by Daniel Kluger, costume design by Margaret E. Weedon, with production stage manager Mary K. Botosan.

Barrington Stage Company’s Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

The play tells the story of unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi, who fought passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he refused to report to a detention center, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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

Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente, Barrington Stage Company’s Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Photo by Lia Chang

Last year, Joel de la Fuente performed to rave reviews in Jeanne Sakata award-winning solo show Hold These Truths at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. The production scooped up three 2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards last year including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Lisa Rothe and Outstanding Principal Performance for Joel de la Fuente. 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.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) is honored to perform Hold These Truths for Barrington Stage Company. Most recently, the play was awarded three Theatre Bay Area Awards for its run in San Francisco, including Outstanding Principal Performance, as well as garnering a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on “The Man in the High Castle,” one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, “Hemlock Grove,” and can be seen in perpetual reruns on “Law & Order: SVU,” where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on “Madam Secretary” for CBS. Joel has performed in theatres all over the world, as both an avid classical theatre actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU. For more info, please visit: joeldelafuente.com.

Playwright Jeanne Sakata on the set of HOLD THESE TRUTHS. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeanne Sakata’s acting and writing talents span across theater, film and television, with multiple productions of her acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Direction and Principal Performance) recently produced at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Arena Stage, Hang A Tale, Lyric Stage Company, Pasadena Playhouse, the Guthrie, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, and PlayMakers Repertory Company, among others. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off-Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play is inspired by the true story of Japanese American civil rights giant Gordon Hirabayashi, to whom President Obama posthumously awarded in 2012 a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Called a “local treasure” by The Los Angeles Times, Jeanne’s screen credits include Jennifer Phang’s internationally acclaimed indie sci-fi film, Advantageous; on TV, guest/recurring roles on “Big Hero 6,” “Dr. Ken,” Bravo’s “True Fiction,” “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 YOMYOMF YouTube webseries. Onstage, Jeanne has performed with the Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, People’s Light, Syracuse Stage and the Arizona Theatre Company.

Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s REDEast West Players; 2016 Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre. (www.jeannesakata.comwww.holdthesetruths.info)

Lisa Rothe is a NYC based freelance theater director, acting coach and educator. She was nominated for SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction for Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble in NYC and the TheatreWorks production recently won 3 Theatre Bay Area Awards for Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Performer and Outstanding Production.

Lisa is currently the interim Director of New Works at Kansas City Repertory Theatre and recently produced the 4th annual Origins KC New Works Festival. Alongside Angel Desai and Grace Zandarski, she is a co-Artistic Director of The Actor’s Center in NYC. Lisa is also a former co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, on the Artistic Advisory Council of Epic Theatre Ensemble, on the Advisory Board of the Detroit Public Theatre, a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop, an Artistic Affiliate and Audrey Fellow with New Georges, a Drama League alum, a fox Fellow alum and a member of the National Theater Conference.

Recent directing work: Amber Waves by James Still at Indiana Repertory Theatre, In My Chair, written and performed by Eva DeVirgilis at Virginia Repertory Theatre/Cadence Theatre, Wild Abandon, written and performed by Leenya Rideout at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Sooner/Later by Allyson Currin at Cincinnati Playhouse, Confederates by Suzanne Bradbeer at Theatreworks (nominated for 8 Bay Area Critics Circle Awards). Future: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Kansas City Rep), Steel Magnolias (The Guthrie Theater), Fun Home (Kansas City Rep).

Lisa has workshopped, developed, and directed hundreds of new works with multiple award winning writers. As the Director of Global Exchange at The Lark in NYC for over five years, she provided expanded opportunities for playwrights, aimed at advancing new work to production, both nationally and globally (including facilitating reciprocal translation programs with China, Mexico, Romania & Russia). MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program and Director’s Lab. www.lisarothe.com

Hold These Truths will have a Cafe Chat following the performance on May 31st and a talkback following the performance on June 5.

Both single tickets and 2019 season passes are now on sale and available at www.barringtonstageco.org or by calling 413-236-8888 or visiting the Mainstage box office (30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201). Tickets range from $20 to $75.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Jeanne Sakata and Carol Maynard. Photo by Lia Chang
Dick Ziter, Eric Reimer and Playwright Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Setsuko Winchester and Simon Winchester. Photo by Lia Chang
Tim Patterson, Garth Kravits and Playwright Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente and Production Stage Manager Mary K. Botosan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata, Barrington Stage Company’s Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, Norman Boyd, Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwrights Jeanne Sakata and Mark St. Germain. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente, Joey Rainone IV, Playwright Jeanne Sakata and Production Stage Manager Mary K. Botosan. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Joel de la Fuente, Tim Patterson and Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Garth Kravits

The Rafu Shimpo: ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ AT LUCIE STERN THEATRE

sfexaminer.com: July 11-12: Hold These Truths

mercurynews.com: Now playing on SF Bay Area stage: 1 man’s fight against the Japanese internment camps

metroactive.com: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers Japanese Internment

register-pajaronian: Watsonville native celebrates Bay Area premiere of play

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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: © 2000-2019 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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