RANCHO MIRAGE — “Hold These Truths: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi” ends Sunday at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre at The Atrium, 69930 Hwy. 111, Suite 116, Rancho Mirage.
A one-man play written by Jeanne Sakata and starring Blake Kushi, “Hold These Truths” is based on the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, an American sociologist best known for his principled resistance to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Sakata’s script was inspired by hours of interviews with Hirabyashi and several of his friends from the 1940s.
As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution, Hirabayashi begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs — and a confrontation with its failures. Kushi plays not only Hirabayashi, but also a multitude of people who were part of his story.
“Gordon Hirabayashi should be a household name, like Rosa Parks,” said CVRep Artistic Director Ron Celona. “When I saw ‘Hold These Truths’ several years ago, I knew this was a story that must be told, and that I would one day bring it to the Coachella Valley. It was the inspiration for this season’s theme of ‘The American Melting Pot.’”
Celona directed the play, based on the original direction by Jessica Kubzansky.
The play was first performed in 2007 under its original title, “Dawn’s Light,” at East West Players in Los Angeles.
In May 2012, Hirabayashi was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Obama.
Bonnie Gilgallon of The Coachella Valley Independent said, “Don’t miss it. It will make you laugh, think and perhaps shed a tear or two. And it reminds us all that rocking the boat is sometimes necessary — in fact, it can change history.”
CVRep is offering a special rate of $15 for students with I.D. General admission is $45.
Remaining showtimes are: Thursday, April 30 (Talk Back Thursday), and Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 2, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m.
For more information, call (760) 296-2966 or visit http://cvrep.org.
About Blake Kushi
Born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, Kushi attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earning degrees in music and theater. He has trained in improv at iO West and Upright Citizens Brigade, and studied acting technique with Lee Cohn at the Atlantic Acting School-LA.
Kushi has appeared in numerous short films, feature films, webisodes, industrials, and commercials. His television credits include a guest role on an Emmy-winning episode of “Pushing Daisies” on ABC. His stage experience is varied and diverse, spanning the spectrum from classics by William Shakespeare to Beijing opera.
His first play in Los Angeles was the world premiere of “Ten Thousand Years,” written by Oscar winner John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”). He went on to act in the premieres of “Conjunto” by Oliver Mayer (“Blade to the Heat”) and “Calling Aphrodite” by Velina Hasu Houston (“Tea”). More recently, hee starred in the premiere and subsequent remount of “Three Year Swim Club” at East West Players.
In 2010, Kushi performed “Dawn’s Light,” which toured Southern California. This theater-for-youth production was an abridged version, adapted by the playwright.
For more information, visit www.imdb.me/kushi.