In Rehearsal: People’s Light Production of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Steven Eng

People’s Light (Abbey Adams, Executive Artistic Director; Zak Berkman, Producing Director) is presenting Jeanne Sakata’s Award winning solo play, Hold These Truths, based on the inspiring true story of Gordon Hirabayashi.

Jeanne Sakata, People’s Light Proucing Director Zak Berkman. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Desdemona Chiang, the production will run March 18 – April 19, 2020, on People’s Light’s Steinbright Stage in Malvern, PA. Opening night is March 21. People’s Light is located at 39 Conestoga Rd, Malvern, PA 19355.

Desdemona Chiang, Steven Eng, Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Gordon Hirabayashi, University of Washington student and practicing Quaker, struggles to reconcile his fervent belief in the U.S. Constitution with the government’s orders to incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. His work ultimately leads to the 1943 Supreme Court case, Hirabayashi v. United States.

Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Steven Eng will portray Gordon Hirabayashi and 37 other characters in Hold These Truths. As an actor, he’s worked throughout NYC, the U.S. and internationally, including London West End, Classic Stage Company (2018 Lortel nom.), New York Philharmonic, Ensemble Studio Theatre, ShakespeareNYC, Prospect Theater Company, A.C.T., 5th Avenue Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, TUTS, Dallas Theater Center, and many more, as well as in Germany, Austria, and Cambodia. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit National Asian Artists Project and a director. He’s also taught numerous workshops and is on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia University, and HB Studio, and has served as a grants panelist for the NEA. MFA from GWU/ACA and BFA from SMU.

Stage Manager Matthew Luppino, Director Desdemona Chiang, Steven Eng, Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Set Designer Se Hyun Oh, Dramaturg Gina Pisasale, People’s Light Producing Director Zak Berkman. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeanne Sakata’s  HOLD THESE TRUTHS (Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; San Diego Critics’ Circle Award, Outstanding Solo Performance; Theatre Bay Area Awards, Outstanding Production, Direction, and Lead Performance); upcoming in the 2019-20 season at People’s Light and Theatre and Heritage Theatre Festival, has won rave reviews in over twenty productions across North America, most recently at San Diego Repertory, Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver, Barrington Stage Company, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Arena Stage, Hang A Tale Productions, Lyric Stage Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, the Guthrie Theater, Perseverance Theatre, ACT Seattle, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Honolulu Theatre for Youth (co-produced with Daniel Dae Kim), and Epic Theatre Ensemble. Originally premiering with Los Angeles’ East West Players, the play was first commissioned by Chay Yew, former director of CTG’s Asian Theatre Workshop.

Called a “local treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, Jeanne has enjoyed guest star/recurring roles onscreen in Jennifer Phang’s internationally acclaimed indie film, Advantageous, and on the TV series High School Musical: The Musical: The SeriesNCIS Los Angeles, Big Hero 6, Dr. Ken, Bravo’s True Fiction, 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 Vineyard Theatre, Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Northlight Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Berkeley Rep, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, People’s Light, Sundance Theatre Institute, Syracuse Stage and the Arizona Theatre Company.

Special honors: Theatre LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s Red, East West Players; 2019 Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, East 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.

Set Design by Se Hyun Oh. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team features Stage Manager Matthew Luppino, Set Design by Se Hyun Oh, Costume Design by Katie Yamaguchi, Lighting Design by Dawn Chiang, Sound Design by Hidenori Nakajo, Dramaturgy by Gina Pisasale.

Jeanne Sakata, Steven Eng and Desdemona Chiang. Photo by Lia Chang

Standard single tickets range from $35-$58, including fees. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, or to purchase group tickets, call Kelly Benedict at 610.647.1900, x111, or email

Gina Pisasale, Jeanne Sakata, Matthew Luppino, Desdemona Chiang, Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Dramaturgy Packet compiled by Gina Pisasale
Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Desdemona Chiang, Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Steven Eng, Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld: Photo Flash: Steven Eng In Rehearsal For People’s Light Production Of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS

Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane de Boer-Phelan, Hansel Tan, Nina Zoie Lam, Timothy Huang, Jelani Alladin and More Celebrate Steven Eng at Prospect Theater Company Gala 

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. 

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