Written by Tim Toyama and Aaron Woolfolk, this production is part of “Project Bronzeville,” a festival that has involved art, music, a panel discussion, and theater to communicate the details of a time and place in L.A. history that is not well known, but rich with cultural significance.
In February 1942, President Franklin D Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans for the duration of World War II. For the section of Los Angeles known as Little Tokyo, the removal of its Japanese American residents created a ghost town of empty houses and businesses.
The abandoned neighborhood soon became home for the influx of southern African American citizens that were migrating to LA. As thousands of African American families moved into homes and retail spaces vacated by Japanese Americans, Little Tokyo became known as “Bronzeville.”
In the play, an African American family discovers a young Japanese American man hiding in their house; the family is faced with coming to terms with their own values as they debate and struggle with doing the right thing: Do they help him or betray him?
“Bronzeville” was first presented in 2009 by the Robey Theatre Company to great critical and popular acclaim, receiving four NAACP Theatre Awards nominations, and an Ovation nomination from the L.A. Stage Alliance for Playwrighting.
In 2011, Robey presented “Bronzeville” at the Manzanar National Historic Site for the local community and school districts. Recently, 700 students from the Accelerated Schools in Los Angeles attended Robey’s play readings of “Bronzeville” using study guides developed by the theater company.
The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St. Showtimes:
Friday and Saturday, June 28-29, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 30, at 3 p.m.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 4-6, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, at 3 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, at 3 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, July 18-19, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 20, at 3 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 21, at 3 and 7 p.m.