Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT

Hold These Truths

February 23 — April 8, 2018

By Jeanne Sakata
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky

Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle

Reeling from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and driven by fear and prejudice, America placed its own citizens of Japanese ancestry in internment camps. A play for our times, Hold These Truths tells the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order to uphold the values on which America was founded. Filled with hope and buoyed by unquenchable patriotism, Hirabayashi’s unflinching defiance will leave you cheering the strength of the individual and his dedication to his own unalienable rights. “Surprisingly humorous and openhearted.” (Seattle Times)

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Illustration by Yuko Shimizu

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RYUN YU (Gordon Hirabayashi) makes his Arena Stage debut. He originated the role of Gordon Hirabayashi at East West Players in 2007, and has since performed it at ACT, Portland Center Stage and Pasadena Playhouse. Ryun collaborated with David Henry Hwang while starring in the play Yellow Face (the first adaptation of a major theatrical play for YouTube) and on the film adaptation of the play Bondage. Additional credits include Kimber Lee’s Tokyo Fish Story (South Coast Repertory); Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out (Geffen Playhouse); the world premiere of Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap (Magic Theatre); and Art and Julia Cho’s The Language Archive (East West Players). Ryun directed and will star in the upcoming feature film The Last Tour. TV appearances include Fuller House, Castle and the upcoming Animal Kingdom. He is the first theater major from MIT. Twitter/Instagram: @RealRyunYu.


JEANNE SAKATA (Playwright) is honored to bring Hold These Truths to Arena Stage. After premiering at East West Players in 2007, the play had its Off-Broadway debut with Epic Theatre Ensemble in 2012 (Drama Desk nomination) and has since earned rave reviews at The Guthrie, Portland Center Stage, ACT, Perseverance Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory and Honolulu Theatre for Youth. As an actor, Jeanne has performed with The Public, the Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory, People’s Light, Northlight Theatre and the Intiman Theatre, among others. Recent film/TV credits include Advantageous, Dr. Ken, Big Hero 6 and True Fiction. She received a Los Angeles Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress and a Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community.

JESSICA KUBZANSKY (Director) is the Co-Artistic Director of The Theatre @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena and an award-winning director. She developed and directed the world premiere of Hold These Truths at East West Players and has directed many subsequent productions. Recent credits include Orange (South Coast Repertory); Stupid Fucking Bird (A Contemporary Theatre); Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Colony Collapse, The Children and RII, her own three-person Richard II (Boston Court Performing Arts Center); Pygmalion (Pasadena Playhouse); Sheila Callaghan’s Everything You Touch (Rattlestick at The Cherry Lane); Hamlet with Leo Marks and The Winter’s Tale (Theater 150); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Illinois Shakespeare Festival); Macbeth (Antaeus Company); and Glass Menagerie, Toys in the Attic and Heartbreak House (The Colony Theatre). Jessica received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatre.

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Hold These Truths

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Lauren Alexander