(Pittsfield, MA– April 2019) Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in the Berkshires under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, kicks off its 25th Anniversary season with Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata.
Directed by Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon), Hold These Truths begins previews May 22 and opens May 25 for a run through June 8 at the St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (36 Linden Street).
Hold These Truths stars Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle) reprising his Drama Desk-nominated role in this solo play inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi.
Unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.
Hold These Truths has scenic design by Mikiko Suzuki McAdams, costume design by Margaret E. Weedon, lighting design by Cat Tate Starmer, sound design by Daniel Kluger. Production Stage Manager: Mary K. Botosan.
Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) makes his debut for Barrington Stage Company in Hold These Truths. Most recently, the play was awarded three Theatre Bay Area Awards for its run in San Francisco, including Outstanding Principal Performance, as well as garnering a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on The Man in the High Castle, one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, Hemlock Grove, and can be seen in perpetual reruns on Law & Order: SVU, where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on Madam Secretary for CBS. Joel has performed in theaters all over the world, as both an avid classical theater actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.
Two special events will accompany the production of Hold These Truths. Reservations are strongly recommended for these events by calling 413-236-8888.
From “Page to Stage” with Jeanne Sakata will take place on Sunday, May 26 at 1 p.m. at the St. Germain Stage. Moderated by Julianne Boyd, Jeanne will discuss how she researched, wrote and developed her nationally acclaimed solo play about Gordon Hirabayashi.
Barrington Stage will present “Freedom from Fear” with Setsuko Winchester on Saturday, June 1 at 1 p.m. at the St. Germain Stage. Setsuko Winchester, an American of Japanese ethnicity, is a ceramic artist and journalist who created 120 yellow tea bowls and took them to all ten US concentration camps where 120,000 people of Japanese ethnicity were imprisoned during WWII. She seeks both to remind, and to warn, what may happen to freedom when fear rules the day.
Hold These Truths is sponsored in part by Carol and Alfred Maynard & Dick Ziter and Eric Reimer.
Performances: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Opening night Saturday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (36 Linden Street). Tickets: $15-$50. Barrington Stage Box Office: 413-236-8888 or online at www.barringtonstageco.org.
Actress and playwright Jeanne Sakata, whose talents span across TV, film, voiceover and stage, is currently delighting New York audiences as struggling but spunky “Mom” in the Off Broadway premiere of the brilliant new comedy Do You Feel Anger? at the Vineyard Theatre, as well as TV audiences in the recurring roles of genius scientist Lenore Shimamoto/Mayor Saito on the animated TV series Big Hero 6, based on the Disney smash hit movie, and three national commercials.
Jeanne’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) has had over twenty productions across the country, and will be produced in the 2019-20 season at Barrington Stage, San Diego Rep, and People’s Light and Theatre, after sold-out and extended runs last year at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. In April 2019, Hold These Truths will also be available internationally as a special audio recording, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play has also been produced in recent years at Pasadena Playhouse, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers’ Rep, 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. Hold These Truths is now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, and it is 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.
ABOUT BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY
Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is an award-winning regional theatre located in Pittsfield, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires. Co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, BSC has a three-fold mission: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people.
Barrington Stage commissioned and produced the world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son, which also won the Laurents/Hatcher Award as Best New Play by an Emerging Playwright in 2016 and recently concluded a Broadway run, starring Kerry Washington. American Son was later made into a Netflix movie, and will soon be released nationally. Barrington Stage first garnered national attention in 2004 when it premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which later transferred to Broadway where it won two Tony Awards. In 2009, BSC premiered Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session, which later moved Off Broadway and played for two years. St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth (which premiered at BSC as Dr. Ruth, All the Way) played Off Broadway at the Westside Theatre. BSC’s all-time record-breaking musical On the Town was originally produced at BSC in 2013 before transferring to Broadway, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. In 2016, Barrington Stage swept the first annual Berkshire Theatre Awards by winning 20 out of the 25 awards. In 2017, BSC produced the much-lauded revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company, starring Aaron Tveit. In 2018, BSC produced the critically-acclaimed production of West Side Story in honor of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’ 100th birthdays. BSC has won the Best of the Berkshires Readers’ Choice for Best Live Theatre for the past two years. 2019 marks BSC’s 25th Season Anniversary.