- A Few Good Men
- Big in Germany
- Kimchi Fried Dumplings
- Instant Shop Presents: Conservatory Live!
- Lost and Left Behind
- Can't Get Started
- The Horrible Friends: World Tour!
- The Suckerpunch (Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Victoria, Vancouver)
- Illuminati: The Musical
- The Paperbag Princess & More (Winnipeg & Rural Manitoba)
- The Horrible Friends: For the First Time, For the Last Time (Winnipeg)
- The Weirdest One In The World (Winnipeg)
- Unequal Harvest (Winnipeg & Victoria)
- When The Killer Mutant Lizards Attack (Winnipeg & Victoria)
- 2009 Fem Fest: One Night Stand
- Life in a Box
- Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare
- Saint Joan (Winnipeg)
- Billy Bishop Goes To War
- Paper Jack
A Few Good Months
December 6th, 2012 at 6:54 pm UTC - permalink
And so, after multiple sell out performances, standing ovations every night and tons of critical acclaim, A Few Good Men has come to a close. All in all, the expirience was incredibly positive, being able to work with two fantastic theatre companies as well as a superb, dare I say, dream cast. A huge thank you to everyone who came to see the show, and hopefully I'll be working in Edmonton and Winnipeg again soon.
A couple of quick notes: For those of you in Winnipeg, Theatre By The River has just announced a partnership with Echo Theatre to produce a production of Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, to be directed by Suzie Martin. While I won't have any direct involvement with the project, both companies do fantastic work and it's very exciting to see what will come of this great collaberation.
There probably won't be any new updates to the site over the next month or so: That said, I'm working on a bit of a face lift, so hopefully that will be done soon. Cheers!
A Few Good Men & Farewell to Fringe 2012
September 12th, 2012 at 8:20 pm UTC - permalink
First things first: We've begun the fourth week of rehearsals in Edmonton for the Citadel Production of A Few Good Men and it is a really exciting time: The show is looking fantastic, the actors are all great and it is now in this final week that we band together and make the show sing. This has taken up pretty much all of my time over the past month, hence the lack of updates, but I truely think it will all be worth it once our work is up on the stage. If you can catch it here in Edmonton or at our October 14-Nov 10 run in Winnipeg, you won't be disappointed!
Since I've been busy, I've neglected my traditional tour debrief post so I'll take the oppertunity now to once again thank all the amazing people who came to see my show in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, as well as the fantastic touring performers who gave me such excellent company (and entertainment!) in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton. This was a short tour for me, but potentially a life-altering one and I will be ever greatful that it was so much fun. All the best to my friends finishing up their tours in Vancouer and Seattle!
Lost Foot Notes
August 10th, 2012 at 4:02 pm UTC - permalink
With Lost and Left Behind finishing up it's successful run at the Saskatoon Fringe, I wanted to take a moment to bring up some of the foot notes in creating the show: Most shows that I write end up with substantial deleated scenes, but since this is a story telling show based around true events I wanted to take a moment to discuss all the details that didn't make it into the show but were very important.
- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have indeed gone the longest out of any CFL team since winnipeg the Grey Cup, including the short lived Baltimore expansion.
- The weather bomb discussed in the opening monologue was a very real, very scary thing. This article discusses it at some length. You can also see some youtube videos here and here.
- The one moment of the show that is less than truthful is the ending of this peice: I had actually found out about my touring show the day before, having received the message while driving my rental car to my apartment.
- The book The Politics of Racism by Ann Gomer Sunahara goes into great detail about the racism evident in B.C. behind the interment and can be read for free in full at this website.
- The Japanese interment was not the first internment in Canadian history: There was a Ukranian interment during World War 1 which has received very little attention over the years and has yet to be formally redressed: I was given a copy of the documentary Freedom Has a Price by some audience members in Winnipeg and it is well worth seeing.
- Japanese were also relocated and interned in the United States, although the specifics of the interment where somewhat different. Articles like this oneor this one outline some of the those differences.
- I legitimately lose things all the time. During the run of the show in Winnipeg, I lost my phone twice (thankfully not for long), lost a pair of jeans biking to my venue, lost TWO hats and a pair of house keys. I wish that was a joke.
- The story about my grandfather's farm land was taken from this website. The estimate of $140,000/acre was taken from looking at land auction prices in the Surrey area in May of 2012.
- For those interested in seeing how ridiculous the Vancouver housing prices are, sites like Crack Shack or Mansion do a great job of showing how little a million dollars will buy you in the City of Glass.
- My mother insists that I mention that my Grandparents first landlord was Scottish: Therefore, they loved her when they eventually met.
- The first play I wrote was Coffee with my good friend Sebastian Ball. He still writes to this day, and is one third of the crew at Matching Jackets.
- I was unfortunetly the last year of the Young Emerging Playwrights Program, a great joint venture between the Manitoba Association of Playwrights and Prairie Theatre Exchange (the company that hired me for the 3 1/2 month touring gig). I was lucky enough to be mentored by the fantastic Rick Chafe, and while I'm ashamed I never finished that play, I was and am very greatful for the advice and encouragement he gave me in the process.
- The story of the Japanese who fought in World War 1 and 2 is told in the fantastic book We Went to War by Roy Ito. Harold Hirose is mentioned on several occations in the book, and is featured in photos on page 187 and 247. The book is a great read for Canadian History buffs and those looking to see a very underappreciated aspect of the interment story.
- This archived newspaper page shows Harold receiving he Order of the Rising Sun. For more information on the award, there is wikipedia.
- The Manitoba Japanese Canadian Cultural Center still exists in Winnipeg, and awards a yearly scolarship in Harold Hirose's name.
- This article features some good photos of what was once Japan town. The building that formerly held Florence Omoto's father's shop is no longer there, long since replaced.
- Thousands of Japanese Canadians were sent "back" to Japan following the end of the war, to a country still recovering from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I myself didn't know anything about this until I saw it in a film whose name I cannot currently find. Proof that entertainment can educate!
- It is completly true that none of my uncles speak more than very rudimentary Japanese. I've tried to learn on several occations, but it is a very difficult language to learn. I'm also a 3rd degree brown belt in Shotokan Karate, which is where I learned how to count in Japanese.
- The hospital in question is the Miseriacordia hospital and the library the Cornish Library, where I was picking up an extra shift. Originally there was a story following my visit with Uncle George about my realizing that I had left my house keys and phone inside the library and the great lengths I went to in order to get them back, but for time and tone reasons it was cut.
- The scene mentioned based around Uncle George was for Jesus Christ, I'm Sorry, my first one man show. The scene was almost added back in for a production at the New York Frigid Festival, but eventually removed yet again.
- George Hirose's obituary can be seen here.
- I was told this story several months into the writing of the show and I instantly knew that it needed to be written in: When my parents informed me about the truth, I was completely devastated, but upon further reflection realized it fit better that way.
- Kiko Hirose's obituary can be found here.
- Florence indeed ask me how I remembered all those words: And not for the first time.
- A random factoid: The NDP were the only political party to speak out publically against the interment during the time: Florence has voted NDP every day of her life since.
- In 2008 I was asked to speak at a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Redress: It was a profoundly moving expirience. Information about the redress and a retrospective on it can be found at this website.
- In preparing a previous show on this subject, I interviewed Saul Cherniack, one of the lawyers who represented the Japanese Canadians as they pursued justice. He was kind enough to allow me access to all his files on the case and while all of that exists as a single line in the show, his help was incredibly useful in understanding the legal aspects of the fight for redress.
- The cut off for the $21,000 reperation payments gave money to my father's oldest brother, but just barely missed him. Tough luck dad.
- I still belive that the interment is an important story, and this is not the last time you'll see me try to tell it. Watch for the eventual, grant funded, award winning great Canadian play. Fingers corssed.
A Second Year in Saskatoon
July 31st, 2012 at 4:37 pm UTC - permalink
Well the Winnipeg Fringe has come and gone yet again, and what a fantastic run it was. Not only did I have a blast performing in Big in Germany, as well as doing a couple of guest appearences with The Horrible Friends, I'm proud to say that my inaugaral production under Seismic Shift Productions was a huge hit, with Lost and Left Behind bringing in some great critical praise, strong houses and the always saught after position as one of the festival's BEST OF FEST shows. This was in fact only the second time I've managed to snag Best of Fest, the first time being ages ago with my very first one man show Jesus Christ, I'm Sorry. Here's what some of the critics had to say:
"Hirose will leave you with some insightful impressions and an urge to call your grandmother and say thanks. FOUR STARS" - CBC (Full Review)
"Plays with your heartstrings and will have you wanting to visit your grandparents as soon as the show is over. FOUR STARS" - Filipino Journal (Full Review)
But now it's off to Saskatoon for my second year performing in the festival, and I'm quite excited by the possibilities. Saskatoon was a lot of fun last year, and I'm hoping the great critical reception along with Martin Dockery's name (who is producing the show in Saskatoon and collaberated in the creation of the show) will bring in the big crowds. We open on Friday, so see you there!
Lost and Left Behind - Heading to Winnipeg!
June 20th, 2012 at 11:37 am UTC - permalink
I'm happy to annouce that information on the upcoming productions of my latest one man show, Lost and Left Behind has now been posted in the projects page, including the times and dates for the show at the Winnipeg and Potash(Saskatoon) Fringe Festivals. You can also find information on Big in Germany, Rob Selarno's (Fucking Stephen Harper, Balls) latest show which I'll also be appearing in during the Winnipeg Fringe.
I'm hopping on a bus later today to get to Winnipeg for a wedding this upcoming weekend, and will be in town all the way until Fringe catching up with friends, enjoying the Winnipeg Folk Festival and of course getting the show into tip-top fighting shape. Looks like it's going to be a great summer!