Oct. 12-Nov. 18: Epic Theatre Ensemble Presents New York Premiere of Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths Starring Joel de la Fuente at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y

Posted by Lia Chang

he Epic Theatre Ensemble is presenting the New York premiere of Jeanne Sakata’s solo play Hold These Truths (formerly known as Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi), directed by Lisa Rothe and starring Joel de la Fuente, at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St. (between 1st and 2nd Ave) in New York, October 12 – November 18, 2012. Click here to purchase tickets.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata's Hold These Truths. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths. Photo by Lia Chang


Inspired by a true story, Hold These Truths takes place in Seattle during World War II, where University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi is agonizing over U.S. government orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he fights to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution, Gordon journeys toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs — and a confrontation with its failures.

Performance Schedule:
Friday, October 12 @ 8pm
Saturday, October 13 @7pm
Sunday, October 14 @ 3 & 7
Friday, October 19 @ 8pm
Saturday, October 20 @ 7pm
Sunday, October 21 @ 6pm
Monday, October 22 @7pm
Saturday, October 27 @ 7pm
Sunday, October 28 @ 3pm & 7pm
Monday, October 29 @ 7pm
Saturday, November 3 @ 7pm
Sunday, November 4 @ 3pm & 7pm
Saturday, November 10 @ 7pm
Sunday, November 11 @ 3pm & 7pm
Monday, November 12 @ 7pm
Saturday, November 17 @ 7pm
Sunday, November 18 @ 3pm & 7pm

Theater at the 14th Street Y
344 E. 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
Steps away from the 1st Avenue Station on the L, L train to 1st Avenue

Remembering Civil Rights Leader Gordon Hirabayashi,1918- 2012
President Obama Names Asian American Civil Rights Hero Gordon Hirabayashi Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom 

Jeanne Sakata (Photo by Lia Chang)

Jeanne Sakata (Photo by Lia Chang)


Jeanne Sakata has been honored to make her playwriting debut in recent years with her solo Hold These Truths (formerly Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi). The play had its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players, co-presented by the Japanese American National Museum, the UCLA Department of Asian American Studies, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and was subsequently chosen by the Epic Theatre Ensemble and the Lark Play Development Center for their first joint presentation, as well as by the New York Theatre Workshop to be showcased at their 2009 Dartmouth Residency. Most recently, the play was performed at Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion with Silk Road Rising/Millennium Park as part of the Park’s 2011 IN THE WORKS New Plays Series. It was also presented in the Epic Theatre Ensemble’s 2010 Passion Play Festival with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, at the University of California at Riverside, the 16th Annual Conference of the Japan Studies Association in Honolulu, at Japanese American Citizens League Day of Remembrance events in Sacramento and Salinas, California, and at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where it was the inspiration and theatrical centerpiece of the civil rights symposium “Civil Liberties, National Security and the Legacies of the Japanese Removal and Incarceration.” With the East West Players Theatre for Youth program in 2008 and 2010, the play has twice toured high schools and junior high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. HOLD THESE TRUTHS is now part of the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC, where Sakata’s working script was recently on view in the Thomas Jefferson Building in conjunction with the Library of Congress celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Hold These Truths (Formerly Dawn’s Light: The Gordon Hirabayashi Story) is part of the Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection, and Sakata’s working script is currently on view in the Library of Congress’ Asian Division Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington DC through May 31, 2012, in conjunction with the Library of Congress celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). Photo by Lia Chang

Hold These Truths (Formerly Dawn’s Light: The Gordon Hirabayashi Story) is part of the Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection, and Sakata’s working script is currently on view in the Library of Congress’ Asian Division Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington DC through May 31, 2012, in conjunction with the Library of Congress celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). Photo by Lia Chang

Jeanne is also an acclaimed stage and screen actress, performing in 2011-2012 in the title role of Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession in the Antaeus Theatre Company’s Classics Fest, Daniel Akiyama’s A Cage of Fireflies at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Julia Cho’s The Language Archive at East West Players, Seven at USC, and Don Nguyen’s Red Flamboyant at the Ojai Playwrights Festival. Jeanne has also performed with The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Northlight Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Berkeley Rep, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage and Arizona Theatre Company, and is a member of LA’s renowned classical group The Antaeus Company. Screen credits include playing Mom Wanda to Olivia Munn in the 2012 feature comedy The Babymakers, Tyler Perry’s “Meet The Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “ER,” “Threat Matrix,” “Line of Fire,” “Presidio Med,” “American Family,” “NUMB3RS,” John Ridley’s “I Got You,” the MOW’s “The Reading Room,” “Hiroshima,” “Consensual Relations,” and the feature films XXX2: State of The Unionand American Fusion.

Jeanne’s special awards and honors include an LA Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress for her portrayal of male Beijing Opera star Master Hua in Chay Yew’s Red at EWP, a 2011 Outstanding Artist Award for her career achievements by Los Angeles’ Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theatre, an Entertainment Today Award for Best Supporting Actress in Chay Yew’s A WINTER PEOPLE at Theatre @ Boston Court, a StageScene “Best of 2007” Outstanding Performance mention for her performance as Maria Callas in EWP’s MASTER CLASS, and a DramaLogue Award for Outstanding Performance for her work in Jean Genet’s THE MAIDS at EWP. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 36 years, Timothy Patterson. For further information on Jeanne and HOLD THESE TRUTHS, please see:
www.jeannesakata.com,
www.holdthesetruths.info

Joel de la Fuente (Photo by Lia Chang)

Joel de la Fuente (Photo by Lia Chang)

Most recently, Joel de la Fuente has appeared onstage playing Vershinin inThe Three Sisters, directed by Brian Mertes at the Chautauqua Theatre Conservatory. On screen, de la Fuente stars in the feature film Brief Reunion, which just won the Audience Choice Award at the Gotham International Film Festival and in the upcoming film, Forgetting the Girl, which also took home Audience Award honors at the Soho International Film Festival. Selected New York theatrical credits include: Ivanov in Ivanov (Mint Theater/NAATCO, Jonathan Bank, dir.); The Downtown Plays (Tribeca Theater Festival, John Rando, dir.); Claudio in Beatrice and Benedict with the New York Philharmonic (conducted by Sir Colin Davis); The Square(Lisa Petersen, dir.); America Dreaming (Michael Mayer, dir.); Valentine inThe Two Gentlemen of Verona (NYSF, Adrian Hall, dir.). In 2005, Joel de la Fuente served as the Artistic Associate of the National Asian American Theater Company. In addition to Ivanov, he has also appeared with NAATCO in the world premiere of Cowboy v. Samurai; Air Raid;Fuente Ovejuna (David Herskovitz, dir.); and as Iago in Othello (also directed by Jonathan Bank). Other theatrical credits include: Ariel in The Tempest(Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Florizel in The Winter’s Tale(Williamstown Theatre Festival, Darko Tresjnak, dir.); Chay Yew’sWonderland (La Jolla Playhouse, Lisa Petersen, dir.); Liu Mengmei in the Peter Sellars’ production of The Peony Pavilion which performed in Vienna, Rome, Paris, and London’s Barbican Centre with original music composed by Tan Dun. On television, de la Fuente has spent ten seasons appearing as TARU technician Ruben Morales in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” He was a series regular on the Fox drama, “Space: Above & Beyond;” and has had recurring roles on: “E.R.;” “High Incident;” and the Sidney Lumet series, “100 Centre Street.” Joel can be seen next Spring in the new series, “Hemlock Grove,” exclusively on Netflix. Additional film credits include: Personal Velocity (Sundance Jury Prize Winner, Best Film); The Adjustment Bureau; The Happening; Heights;Return to Paradise; From Other Worlds. As a writer, de la Fuente’s essay on his experiences as an Asian American actor is published in Pyong Gap Min’s “Struggle for Ethnic Identity,” and he is a co-writer of “Life Document 2: Identity” with Ayad Akthar, which won the Columbia Students Award for Best Film in 2002. Joel de la Fuente is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at N.Y.U. www.joeldelafuente.com/Twitter: @joeldelafuente

Lisa Rothe

Lisa Rothe

Most recently, Lisa Rothe directedPenelope by Ellen McLaughlin & Sarah Kirkland Snider at Playmakers Repertory Company and is currently developing a new opera about Ada Byron (Ada) by composer Kim Sherman and librettist Margaret Vandenburg, which was presented this spring as a part of the Center for Contemporary Opera’s Development Series. She has workshopped, developed and directed over one hundred new plays and musicals, working with award winning writers such as James Still, Karen Hartman, Anna Ziegler and Pulitzer nominated and Grammy winner, Rinde Eckert. In NY, Lisa has directed and/or developed work with The Foundry, New Georges, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) , 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, BAM, Summer Play Festival (SPF), NYMF, Midtown International Theatre Festival (Best Director), The Women’s Project, National Actors Theater , Keen Company (Keen Teens), Orchard Project, Voice & Vision, HERE, Dixon Place. Regionally, she has worked with Synchronicity Theatre, Chautauqua Theatre, Vermont Stage Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare Theatre, The New Harmony Project, Riverside Theatre, Seaside Shakespeare (Nantucket), among others. Lisa is also the director of Offsite Programs and Partnerships at the Lark Play Development Center where she deals with providing expanded opportunities for playwrights, aimed at advancing new work to production nationally and globally. She has also spent time in Ethiopia, creating theatre with the children of the World Wide Orphans Foundation (WWO). She has taught and directed at many theatre programs around the country including NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School, Chautauqua Conservatory and many others. Lisa is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and Director’s Lab, as well as a Drama League alum, Fox Fellow, member of the Women’s Project Director’s Lab and is on the boards of the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Theatre World Awards.

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Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.