San Francisco Playhouse returns to in-person performances with a fully staged production of Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths starring Bay Area favorite Jomar Tagatac as Gordon Hirabayashi. Jeffrey Lo directs.
Previews begin Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., with the press opening set for Saturday. June 12, 2021. The in-person performance schedule continues through July 3, 2021, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 P.M; Fridays at 8:00 P.M; Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 P.M. San Francisco Playhouse is located at 450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
The production will also be available as on-demand video streams for audiences to enjoy at home.
San Francisco Playhouse is following strict health and safety protocols to minimize risks to patrons, actors, and staff. At performances of Hold These Truths, audience members will be required to wear masks at all times and asked to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend. The company has developed seating charts that will enforce a two-empty-seat gap in between each party, as well as vacant rows in front of and behind each audience member.
Hold These Truths is based on the incredible true story of one of America’s unsung heroes. In February 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the relocation and incarceration of tens of thousands of innocent American citizens of Japanese ancestry. Among these citizens was Gordon Hirabayashi, whose defiance of the internment order catapulted him into a 50-year journey of conscience to protect the Constitution from a country that viewed him as the enemy. Hold These Truths was inspired by many hours of interviews conducted by playwright Jeanne Sakata with Mr. Hirabayashi as well as numerous primary sources from his life. Access to the performance’s limited seating will be provided to subscribers free of charge. In-person tickets ($30-$100) will be available for purchase in May 2021, along with on-demand video tickets ($15 – $100) that are valid throughout the show’s run.
Jomar Tagatac appeared at San Francisco Playhouse as Mark in Art, and DJ Loki in Today is My Birthday (Theater Mu). At A.C.T. he was seen as Mr. Botard in Rhinoceros and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. Other credits include Playwright and others in Vietgone, Fortinbras in Hamlet, George in The Language Archive (Theatreworks), Actor 1 in King of the Yees (San Francisco Playhouse); Quang in Vietgone (Capital Stage Company); The War of the Roses, Macbeth, Everybody, As You Like It (CalShakes), The Happy Ones, and Dogeaters (Magic Theatre). Jomar is a recipient of a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Principle Actor in a Play, and TBA Award for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role. He earned an MFA from A.C.T.
Jeffrey Lo is a Filipino-American playwright and director based in the Bay Area. He is the recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Emerging Artist Laureate by Arts Council Silicon Valley and Theatre Bay Area Director’s TITAN Award. In addition to his work in theatre he works as an educator and advocate for issues of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and has served as a grant panelist for the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates and Theatre Bay Area. He is the Director Community Partnerships and Casting Director at the Tony Award Winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department.
Jeanne Sakata’s celebrated solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) won accolades in 2019 at San Diego Rep and Barrington Stage (encore run by audience demand) after extended 2018 runs at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and sold-out shows with the Guthrie Theater, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, ACT Seattle, and PlayMakers Rep. Hold These Truths was recently aired on TV in Philadelphia’s local PBS station, WHYY TV, in a filmed performance produced by People’s Light and Theatre., and is available internationally as a radio play, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play, winning rave reviews from The New Yorker, New York Times, and other AP critics, has also been produced in recent years at 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, and 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. Hold These Truths, now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, is also 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. Jeanne’s latest work, FOR US ALL, a radio play commissioned by LA Theatre Works and inspired by the 1980’s coram nobis legal battle of Fred Korematsu, will be broadcast on radio in 2021.
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. 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 (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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