Hold These Truths

Jun 11, 2017

Hold These Truths is currently playing at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Saw this play last night. By far, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Deep, heart wrenching yet ironically entertaining true account of the Japanese concentration camps during WWII. Hits home on so many levels. E.G: Did you know American families were confined to live like animals in smelly horse stalls at the Santa Anita racetrack, behind barbed wire and under armed guards? There is also an exhibit with details and maps in the exhibit hall in front of the Pasadena Playhouse. Strongly recommended!
—Zinnia Coronel Barrero

Local folks, this is a terrific play, important and engaging and entertaining. Bonus points for being a one-act (home by 10!) and affordable (Goldstar has tickets!), plus good pre-theater eating in the neighborhood.
—Colleen Dunn Bates, publisher, Prospect Park Books


Photo by Patrick Weishampel/Blankeye.TV.


Ryun Yu plays Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi (1918-2012) who was an American, a college student, a Christian, and of Japanese ancestry.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, to protect against espionage and sabotage. Notices appeared ordering people of Japanese descent to report to civil stations for transport. Desperate families sold off belongings for cheap and packed what they could. The luckier ones had white friends who agreed to care for houses, farms and businesses in their absence.

“Others who couldn’t pay their mortgage, couldn’t pay their bills, they lost everything. So they had to pretty much start from scratch,” said Rosalyn Tonai, 56, executive director of the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco.
—by Janie Har, February 19, 2017,


Photo by Patrick Weishampel/Blankeye.TV.


Photo by Patrick Weishampel/Blankeye.TV.


Hold These Truths was written by Jeanne Sakata and is directed by Jessica Kubzansky. The play premiered in 2007. Charles McNulty of the LA Times writes, “Yu, who is reprising his performance, slips into his character at various stages of his life with the same ease with which he dons Hirabayashi’s comfortable college cardigan. The actor radiates goodwill without seeming soppy.”

McNulty warns that Hold These Truths is not a “probing” character study and there are “rhetorical flourishes” and “personality tidbits” that he could do without, but ends on a positive note, saying it’s timely—once again—that Hirabayashi’s story is being told.

For those right now agonizing that America is failing to live up to its ideals, Hold These Truths gives hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed eventually bend toward justice.
—”Racism, Injustice & the Echo of History” by Charles McNulty, LA Times, June 5, 2017


Photo by Patrick Weishampel/Blankeye.TV.


Hold These Truths
Through June 25, six days a week, times vary—2, 7 & 8 p.m.
Pasadena Playhouse
Tickets: $25+
Purchase tickets here
For more details, visit

Playhouse Talks” are scheduled after every performance of Hold These Truths.


Ryun Yu


“I… didn’t get the full-on performance—Ryun Yu was bravely battling a miserable cold/flu. Still powerful material and a compelling performance.”
—Linda Taubenreuther


Photo by Patrick Weishampel/Blankeye.TV.





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