HOLD THESE TRUTHS
by Jeanne Sakata
starring Joel De La Fuente
directed by Lisa Rothe
An unsung American hero, Gordon Hirabayashi, fought
passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected
adversary: his own country. During World War II, he refused
to report to a relocation camp with thousands of families of
Japanese descent, launching a 50-year journey from college
to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An inspiring true story of conscience amidst conflict,
it is a one-man portrait of American character at its best.
Winner of Theater Bay Area Awards: Outstanding Direction, Production and Performance
Nominated for Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance (actor Joel de la Fuente)
San Franciso Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Certificate of Commendation, Solo Performance
2019 Broadway World Berkshires Award Nominations, Best Director, Actor, Play & Production
Nominated for SDC's Joe A Callaway Award for Best Direction
If you are interested in this production, please contact Mark Orsini @ Bret Adams Agency.
"Hold These Truths, elegantly directed by Lisa Rothe in a top-notch production for the company Hang a Tale, is a gripping story about a shameful chapter of our history, when the United States government looked at its own people and saw the enemy...(aided by all-around excellent design: set by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, lighting by Cat Tate Starmer, music and sound by Daniel Kluger). It’s also because of Joel de la Fuente’s endearing solo performance, which vividly — and, more often than you’d think, comically — renders Gordon and the constellation of people around him." - Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Times
"As actor Joel de la Fuente conjures a variety of characters with virtuosic ease under Lisa Rothe’s spare and focused direction, the play builds a portrait of an America that just barely tolerated the presence of citizens of Japanese descent even before the outbreak of World War II." - Lisa Brock, Star Tribune
"To call de la Fuente’s performance a tour de force would be misleading—although it is surely that. Under the skilled direction of Lisa Rothe, de la Fuente embodies multiple characters as well as Hirabayashi across several decades of his life, creating an impressionistic patchwork that is part theatrical memoir, part meditation on the American dream and the promise of its Constitution. However, the power in de la Fuente’s performance comes from his utter avoidance of any virtuosic, “show-offy” moments that so often puncture extended monologues of this kind in less skilled performers." - Lydia Lunning, Twin Cities Arts Reader
"Lisa Rothe directed the production, as she did for its Off-Broadway run in New York. She oversaw the seamless transition among characters, places and times, never allowing the story to rest, as Gordon Hirabayashi never rested in his dogged pursuit of basic rights for himself and his people." - Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway
"This is not the story of flashy revolt, but of optimism and the search for mutual understanding. Lisa Rothe aptly captures this spirit in her clean direction and guides de la Fuente’s performance as he injects humanity into each of the many personalities he portrays, from Gordon’s light-hearted kindness, to conflicted Supreme Court justices, to the military figures seeking Gordon’s obedience...It is engrossing storytelling from beginning to end." - David and Chelsea Berglund, How Was the Show?
"The one-person show, written by Jeanne Sakata, directed with understated depth by Lisa Rothe, and featuring a masterful performance by Joel de la Fuente, starts off in a way that brings the audience directly into the fold, making those first few minutes some of the most powerful. That’s because the play starts off in the aisle, amongst the audience. It might seem small and insignificant, but Hirabayashi was like any of us he stood beside, especially those of us whose skin is darker than most." - David John Chavez, Bay Area Plays
"Luminous moments of youthful joy arise...accentuated in Lisa Rothe’s fluid staging." - Misha Berson, Seattle Times
"Actor Joel de la Fuente, under the direction of the remarkable Lisa Rothe (who directed last season’s powerful Penelope), fully engages your attention for a fast-moving 85 minutes." - Kate Dobbs Ariail, Indy Week
"Jeanne Sakata’s beautifully written one-man play, Hold These Truths, is fully realized with direction from Lisa Rothe and a powerful performance from Joel de la Fuente." - Susie Potter, Triangle Arts & Entertainment
"The flawless direction by Lisa Rothe creates a unity of action despite the frequent changes in time and perspective. The perfectly minimal set is used excellently, and the transitions are effortless and clear. Most importantly, a lovely balance is struck between the facts of the story and its emotional core. One is never sacrificed for the sake of the other. Humor and suffering also coexist here quite beautifully, and both are equally vital to our understanding of what unfolds." - Julie Hochner, New York Theater Review