“Man in The High Castle” Star Joel de la Fuente in Benefit Performances of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver through November 2

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

The Umami Fund (Daniel Blinkoff and Tamlyn Tomita) is presenting the International/Canadian debut of Jeanne Sakata’s award-winning play, Hold These Truths at the Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street in Vancouver, which began previews on Friday, October 18 , with performances continuing through Saturday, November 2. Opening night is Sunday, October 20 at 8:00 pm.


Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) is reprising his Drama Desk-nominated turn in this solo play inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi, in which he seamlessly portrays more than thirty characters under the direction of Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon).

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

Unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.

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

The design team includes Cat Tate Starmer (lights), Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams (sets), Daniel Kluger (sound) and Margaret Weedon (costumes), with stage manager Mary K. Botosan.

Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang
Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang

Performance schedule and ticket information:
For preview performances on Friday, October 18 @ 8pm and Sunday, October 20 @ 2pm, tickets are $25.

Beginning with the opening night performance on Sunday October 20 @ 8pm, general admission tickets are $50, seniors/students are $25. The remaining performance schedule is Tuesday, October 22 – Friday, October 25 @ 8pm; Saturday, October 26 and Sunday October 27 @ 2pm and 8 pm; Tuesday, October 29 – Friday, November 11 @ 8pm; Saturday, November 2 @ 2pm and 8pm. For tickets and more information, click here.

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

Proceeds of the performances of Hold These Truths will be donated to three Vancouver organizations: the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, the University of British Columbia Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies, and the Kokoro Dance Theatre Society.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang
In the dressing room with Joel de la Fuente, who stars as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York on November 24, 2012. Joel is holding a photo of Esther Schmoe and Gordon Hirabayashi on their wedding day. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) received a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Principal Performance for the run of Hold These Truths at Theatreworks SV and garnered 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 theaters all over the world, as both an avid classical theater actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress and playwright Jeanne Sakata, whose talents span across TV, film, voiceover and stage, recently received the East West Players Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and Raising the Visibility of the API Community. This summer, Ms. Sakata appeared in the Off Broadway premiere of the brilliant new comedy Do You Feel Anger? at the Vineyard Theatre in New York. She is familiar to TV audiences in the recurring roles of genius scientist Lenore Shimamoto/Mayor Saito on the animated TV series “Big Hero 6,” based on the Disney smash hit movie, and can currently be seen in three national commercials. Jeanne’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) has had over twenty productions across the country, and will be produced in the 2019-20 season at Barrington Stage, San Diego Rep, and People’s Light, after sold-out and extended runs last year at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Since April 2019, Hold These Truths became available internationally as a special audio recording, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play has also been produced in recent years at Pasadena Playhouse, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers’ Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Daniel Dae Kim, co-producer), Terra Nova Collective, Silk Road Rising, Coachella Valley Rep, Plays and Players, and New Century Theatre. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play was workshopped by the Lark Play Development Center and the New York Theatre Workshop. Hold These Truths is now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, and it is 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. Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s Red, East West Players; Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre. For more information on Hold These Truths, click on www.holdthesetruths.info.

Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente, Tamlyn Tomita. Photo by Lia Chang

The Rafu Shimpo: TOMITA CO-PRODUCING VANCOUVER PRODUCTION OF ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ 

Vancouver Presents: From High Castle to the high court: Joel de la Fuente stars in Hold These Truths 

Barrington Stage Presents Return Engagement Of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente, September 20 – 26 

East West Players to Honor Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi at EWP NIGHT MARKET on September 14 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Broadway Vet Darren Lee Joins 29 Hour Industry Reading of Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s New Musical, CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET

Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Vet Darren Lee joins the cast of Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s New Musical, Corner of Bitter and Sweet to portray Mr. Okada.

The 29 Hour industry reading of Corner of Bitter and Sweet features a book by Lainie Sakakura, music & lyrics by Paul Fujimoto and is being presented by The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 2:30pm at Theatre 71, 152 West 71st Street in New York.  Lainie Sakakura directs.

Based on the New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Corner of Bitter and Sweet tells a stunning multigenerational story about a boy’s coming of age during WWII Seattle, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. The Seattle Times called it “A Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet, (that is) so revealing and so well rendered.”

Paul Fujimoto, Lainie Sakakura and Jamie Ford. Photo by Lia Chang

The previously announced cast includes Jane Bernhard, Darius de Haas, Carly Gendell, Rick Faugno, Kenny Ingram, Sala Iwamatsu, Spencer Jones, Kathleen Kwan, Jonny Lee Jr., Fenton Li, Jason Ma, Zach Mackiewicz, Mary Beth Purdy, Alex Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez, Ian Saraceni, Virginia Woodruff, and Timothy Yang.

The creative team includes Cantonese Consultant Fenton Li, Music Supervisor and Dance Arrangements by Sam Davis, Music Director Evan Alparone, Kory Grossman on Percussion and Stage Managers Anita Shastri and Nicole Marconi.

Day 1 of Rehearsal – 1st Row: Kenny Ingram, Darius de Haas, Virginia Woodruff, Isabela Sanchez, Fenton Li, Kathleen Kwan, Jason Ma. 2nd Row: Nicole Marconi, Mary Beth Purdy, Spencer Jones, Ian Saraceni, Carly Gendell, Isabela Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Timothy Yang, Anita Shastri, Richard Vida. 3rd Row: Sam Davis, Zach Mackiewicz, Evan Alparone, Lainie Sakakura, Paul Fiujimoto, Jane Bernhard, Jonny Lee, Jr., Rick Faugno, James A. Rocco. Photo by Lia Chang

Attendance is limited to industry only. For further information, please contact James A. Rocco, Associate Producer, The 5th Avenue Theatre, JRocco@5thavenue.org

Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto. Photo by Lia Chang

BIOS
Lainie Sakakura (Book) is a Japanese America writer/director/choreographer. Recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award Outstanding Choreography and 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award Best Choreography. Daughter of Japanese American WWII concentration camp survivor, William Norio Sakakura, and granddaughter to his mother, Kiyome who did not survive the medical conditions caused by her imprisonment there. LainieSakakura.com

Paul Fujimoto (Music and Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, 4th-generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle, now based in NYC. His songs have been recorded by Tony-winners and nominees and have been showcased in many concert venues around the world. Paul also dabbles in jazz composition and an award-winning trumpet player. Dedicated to his grandfather, Tak Akiyama, who was interned in Minidoka. Training: University of Washington, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop Paulfujimoto.bandcamp.com

Day 1 of CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET Rehearsal at the Open Jar Studios in New York on October 17, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Abingdon Theatre Company (Chad Austin, Artistic Director) is dedicated to developing and producing brave, new American work by emerging and established artists. The company provides a safe home where playwrights, directors and actors can collaborate within a supportive and nurturing environment. We search for stories about the human experience that reflect our social, political, historical and cultural diversity. We are acutely aware of the theatre’s power to unite disparate population groups through stories about common human interests, and we strive to shed light on a variety of perspectives.

The 5th Avenue Theatre (Bill Berry, Producing Artistic Director; Bernie Griffin, Managing Director) is one of America’s leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love—giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region’s largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state. Each year, we reach more than 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programs designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow’s audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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