Boston's Huntington Theatre Company continues its 1999-2000 season with the East Coast premiere of Sisters Matsumoto by Japanese American playwright Philip Kan Gotanda. Already in previews, the show opens Jan. 5 and runs through Jan. 30.
Sisters Matsumoto is directed by Sharon Ott, artistic director of Seattle Repertory Theatre and director of five previous Huntington productions including the award-winning The Woman Warrior.
The story of three Japanese-American sisters whose struggle to rebuild their lives after surviving a government internment camp after World War II explores the challenge of making peace with the past and reclaiming one's place in the community.
Playwright Gotanda's family counted themselves among the 120,000 Japanese-Americans forced into government internment camps during WWII. After being released from the camp, the family settled in Stockton, California where his father sought to rebuild his career and the future playwright became intensely aware of his parents’ experience in the internment camps.
"Anytime I dip into the psyche of any Japanese-American character, I find the camps and the issues of racism there," Gotanda said in a paper statement. Gotanda’s other plays include The Wash, Fish Head Soup, Song for a Nisei Fisherman, Drinking Tea, The Dream of Kitamura, The Ballad of Yachiyo and the Off-Broadway hit, Yankee Dawg You Die, about two struggling Asian American actors living in New York. Gotanda has also made several short films including "Otto," "Drinking Tea and "The Kiss," which have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Director Sharon Ott's existing Huntington credits include Twilight: Los Angeles, The Woman Warrior , The Lady from the Sea , The Way of the World and The Winter’s Tale. Ott has worked with Philip Kan Gotanda on several of his plays in Seattle, Berkeley and New York.
Actors Kim Miyori and Nelson Mashita will return to the Huntington to star in the play. Also featured in the cast are Christine Toy Johnson, Sala Iwamatsu, Stan Egi, Ryun Yu and Will Marchetti. The production team includes set designer Kate Edmunds, costume designer Lydia Tanji, lighting designer Nancy Schertler, composer Dan Kuramato, and sound designer Jeff Mockus. For tickets and information, call the Huntington Box Office at (617) 266 0800 or visit bu.edu/huntington.
-- By Murdoch McBride