Wednesday is opening night for PlayMakers’ season finale, Hold These Truths, a thought provoking play by Jeanne Sakata inspired by the true story of Presidential Medal of Freedom-winner Gordon Hirabayashi. Gordon Hirabayashi fought the US government’s orders to forcibly incarcerate people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast during World War II. Struggling to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the Constitution, he journeys toward greater understanding of America’s triumphs – and confrontation with its failures.
To learn more about Gordon Hirabayashi, Executive Order 9066, and the impact of mass evacuation and incarceration on the Japanese American community during World War II, check out Jiayun Zhuang’s piece, Fight for These Truths. Jiayun Zhuang is the dramaturg for Hold These Truths and an assistant professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Here’s an excerpt from Fight for These Truths:
“On February 19, 1942, ten weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 and thereby granted Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson the authority to designate military zones from which “any and all persons may be excluded.” Although the wording did not specify any ethnic or racial groups, the intent of the order was clear. The stage was now set for the mass evacuation and confinement of more than 110,000 American citizens and legal residents of Japanese ancestry, all of whom were labeled “the enemy.” Forced from their homes on the Pacific Coast into a series of large, hastily constructed concentration camps far inland, these people labored, languished, starved, and suffered behind barbed wire.”
Make sure not to miss Hold These Truths, buy your tickets today! Call our box office at 919.962.PLAY (7529) or visit our website to get your tickets. Hold These Truths will be performed at PlayMakers April 23-27.