May 15: L.A. Theatre Works will Premiere Audio Play of Ken Narasaki’s NO-NO BOY Featuring Greg Watanabe, Sab Shimono, Sharon Omi, Emily Kuroda, Kurt Kanazawa, Joy Osmanski, and Paul Yen

Ken Narasaki

L.A. Theatre Works will premiere the audio play of Ken Narasaki’s No-No Boy, adapted from the novel by John Okada on Saturday, May 15, 2021.

The audio production of No-No Boy is sponsored by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, a state-funded grant project of the California State Library.

No-No Boy is set during the aftermath of the U.S. government’s incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. Helmed by Anna Lyse Erikson, Greg Watanabe stars as Ichiro, who, upon his return to Seattle, is finding it difficult to transition to post-war life. Also in the cast are Sab Shimono as Pa, Sharon Omi as Ma, Emily Kuroda as Mrs. Kanno and Kurt Kanazawa as Taro. Joy Osmanski, Paul Yen and playwright Narasaki each play multiple roles.

For more information and to purchase the recording on May 15, click here.

Ken Narasaki is an actor/writer who’s been professionally involved in theater since 1976. Born in Seattle, he studied theatre at the Cornish School (then Institute) of the Arts then moved to San Francisco for the Summer Training Congress at the American Conservatory Theatre. In 1980, he began working at the Asian American Theater Company for 14 years, going on to perform in over 65 plays in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and more. His most recent performance was Greater Clements at the Lincoln Center in 2019/2020 (nominated Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor)

As a playwright, his plays include Ghosts and Baggage, produced at LATC in 1998 (third place in the C.Y. Lee Playwriting Competition), The Mikado Project (co-written with Doris Baizley), produced by Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, 2007 (winner, Kuma Kahua Pacific Rim Playwriting Award), Innocent When You Dream (produced at Electric Lodge 2008, presented at the Smithsonian Institute 2009, winner, Kumu Kahua Pacific Rim Playwriting Award), and No-No Boy (premiered at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 2010, performed in New York, Queens, and Washington D.C. by Pan Asian Rep in 2014, 2016, and 2018). 

He is especially grateful to L.A. Theatre Works for presenting No-No Boy during this time of increased anti-Asian violence, a reminder that the racism faced by the characters in the play during the 1940s, remains active today. 

According to AudioFile magazine, “L.A. Theatre Works sets the gold standard for fine audio theater recordings.” The Philadelphia Inquirer calls L.A. Theatre Works “a national theatrical treasure.”The world’s leading producer of audio theater, L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing plays into homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. LATW’s syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. and daily in China on the Radio Beijing Network.

The L.A. Theatre Works catalog of over 500 recorded plays is the largest archive of its kind in the world. According to AudioFile magazine, “L.A. Theatre Works sets the gold standard for fine audio theater recordings.” The Philadelphia Inquirer calls L.A. Theatre Works “a national theatrical treasure.”Subscribe to L.A. Theatre Works’ entire 9-play, 2020-21 Digital Season for $150, and receive additional bonus features throughout the season, including a special video conversation with L.A. Theatre Works founding members Edward Asner, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Stacy Keach, Marsha Mason and JoBeth Williams.

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