The Repertory Actors Theatre   email ReAct

11 JAN 2018


 Seattle's Multi-ethnic Philanthropic Theatre - Celebrating Diversity & Great Theater for 25 Years

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GUTS: "Oh, by the way, congratulations kiddo, you're in the contest."
CHIEKO: "I can't...give me that."

Katie Tupper as Chieko and Marc delaCruz as Guts in a scene from ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

The Cast

(in order of appearance)

Marc delaCruz 11/2, 4, 5, 10, 12 & 7/15
Richard Nguyen Sloniker 11/3, 9 & 11
Leilani Berinobis-Wollam
Drew Dalire
Katie Tupper
Ivan Dinh
Audrey R. Fan
Maydene Pang
Kathy Hsieh
Matsutake Man
Robert Isaac Lee
Masaye Okano Nakagawa
Daniel Arreola
Serin Ngai
Understudy for Amy 11/6, 10 & 7/15
Kathy Hsieh
Understudy for Shifty 7/15
Daniel Arreola
Understudy for Takako 11/6 & 10 and for Tama 11/9, 11 & 12
Understudy for Takako 7/15
Lisa Marie Nakamura
Understudy for Tama 11/10
Marilyn Gonzalez

AMY: "I believe, and I say this sincerely from the heart, that the most important contribution Miss Minidoka 1943 can make to our society is to encourage leaders of nations to sit down and talk,..."

Audrey Fan as Amy in the talent competition scene from ReAct's
Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

Directed by
Kathy Hsieh

Music Directed by
Glenda Williams Morrison

Choreographed by
Ken Chin*

* Member Actors Equity Association

 : " "

Kathy Hsieh as Amy and Ivan Dinh as Shifty in ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

The Orchestra

Piano & Conductor
Glenda Williams Morrison
Dan Adams/
Tom Dickens/
Rog Allison

CHIEKO: "Long have I waited..."

Katie Tupper as Chieko in a scene from ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

The Crew

Stage Manager, Sound Operator & Associate Choreographer
Marilyn Gonzalez
Assistant Stage Manager
Andrew Chin
Lighting Designer
Gina Scherr
Scenic Designer
David Hsieh
Assistant Director, Fight Choreographer & Fight Captain
Lisa Marie Nakamura
Dance Captain
Maydene Pang
Odori Choreographer
Masaye Okano Nakagawa
Venue Technician/Light Board Operator
Mark Smith
Substitute Stage Manager
Ken Chin
Production Coordinator & Set Construction
T.J. Langley
Construction Assistant
Terry Podgorski
Original Set Pieces
Sy Morris
Production Assistant
George Paul Glanzman
Poster Design
Kathy Hsieh
Box Office Managers & Volunteer Coordinators
Janet Eng-Lee
Lorna Hee-Chin
David Hsieh
Cyndie Mastel-Rokicki
Leslie Jean Warner

SKIBO & EPPIE: "Standing for what you think must be
the only way to keep our liberty"

The cast in the final scene of ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.


>>The Stranger
>>Patron Comments

GIRLS: "From the time that I was two
My mama said, 'Shame on you'"

Audrey Fan, Kathy Hsieh and Maydene Pang perform "Guilt Makes Me Go" in ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

by Kathy Hsieh

Miss Minidoka 1943

Book by Gary Iwamoto
Music & Lyrics by Gary Iwamoto, Richard Lewis, Lisa Pan, Erin Flory, Diane Wong, Ken Kubota, Stan Asis and Masaye Okano Nakagawa

November 2 - 12, 2000
Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center
July 15, 2001
Seattle University

EPPIE: "Cool it sister, can't you see the no vacancy sign?"
Richard Nguyen Sloniker as Guts, Drew
Dalire as Skibo, Leilani Berinobis-
Wollam as Eppie and Audrey Fan as
Amy in a scene from ReAct's
Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.


GIRLS: "I am guilty."
SENSEI & MATSUTAKE MAN: "Shame on you."
Moi as Takako, Kathy Hsieh as
Amy, Maydene Pang as Kathy,
Masaye Okano Nakagawa as Sensei
and Bob Lee as Matsutake Man in
ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

The Program

The Setting

Minidoka Internment Camp, Idaho, Winter 1943.

Musical Numbers

Nothing To Do Blues - The Company
Miss Minidoka - Eppie, Skibo, Guts
Shifty's Song - Shifty
Guilt Makes Me Go - Amy, Kathy, Takako, Sensei, Matsutake Man
Don't Enryo - Chieko
Nisei Blues - Eppie
On King Street - Guts, Skibo, The Company

Matsutake Man Song - Matsutake Man, Guts
Matsutake Man Song (Reprise) - Guts
Nisei Girl in Hollywood - Amy, The Company
Don't Enryo (Reprise) - Guts, Chieko
Sensei's Song - Sensei
Miss Minidoka (Reprise) - The Company

MATSUTAKE MAN: "A challenge? The Matsutake Man calls on his ancestral heritage. The long dormant warrior blood begins tp boil...draw your sword!
Bob Lee with Masaye Okano
Nakagawa, Leilani Berinobis-
Wollam, Drew Dalire and Ivan
Dinh in ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.


SHIFTY: "Okay, Amy-san, do you have a few words to say to our interested spectators?"
Marc delaCruz, Leilani Berinobis-
Wollam, Masaye Okano Nakagawa,
Ivan Dinh and Kathy Hsieh in
ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

Miss Minidoka 1943

originally opened on January 27, 1987 as the first play produced in the newly opened Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle by the Northwest Asian American Theatre.

Production Notes

Director's Notes

(with excerpts from an interview with Gary Iwamoto by Masaye Okano Nakagawa)

In 1942, over 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in the United States, were forced to leave their homes and live in relocation centers set up in desolate areas of the country. Though suspected as spies, there has never been a single shred of evidence found, that any of the people incarcerated were spies or had ever planned on being spies for Japan. In fact, two-thirds of the people imprisoned were American citizens, born and raised in this country. Even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt stood up against having these camps. And despite the courageous efforts of the all-Japanese American battalion, the camps remained in existence throughout the war until the Supreme Court finally ordered that they be shut down.

Many have wondered how one can possibly do a musical comedy based on the Internment Camps and still have an authentic show. Amazingly enough, Gary Iwamoto was able to accomplish such a feat. Iwamoto was working on Gordon Hirabayashiís coram nobis case when he was inspired to write a play about the internment camps. But rather than focusing on the negative aspects of camp life, he focused instead on the Issei (first-generation Japanese) trait of enduring and making the best of the situation (gaman) and their feelings of "it canít be helped" (shikata ga nai). He wanted to concentrate on the fun times people had experienced in camp without losing sight of the many injustices.

MATSUTAKE MAN: " Cat's Whiskers!"
Bob Lee as Matsutake Man in
ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943
Photo: David Hsieh.

Though he was concerned that by looking at the internment experience in a lighter tone, he might offend those who felt more serious about the subject. However those fears were put aside at soon as the show originally opened. Response to the show was overwhelmingly positive, especially from those who had been incarcerated themselves. Many loved the humor in the play and felt that Iwamoto had accurately portrayed life in camp and issues of importance. The play follows the timeline of the real competition in Camp Minidoka, which was to select the camp "Sweetheart." The contest was announced on January 27, 1943 and the actual pageant held on February 13, 1943.

Meanwhile on January 29, 1943 the War Department did announce that they were seeking Japanese Americans volunteers from the camps and Hawaii to form an all-Japanese-American regimental combat unit. Iwamoto pulled many of his storyline details directly from the camp newspaper headlines. In addition to the pageant and the military recruitment, the ptomaine poisoning, rendezvous in the laundry room, and the nine women in camp recruited to be fire wardens, are just some of the other details. Over the last three years, my "day" job has been touring a play about the Japanese American internment for Living Voices. And one of the most common questions I receive is, how did the Japanese American community respond to their incarceration? Were they angry? Are they bitter? and amazingly enough, the Japanese American community as a whole was and are not angry or bitter about what had happened to them. They decided to make the best of the situation. Usually the best wa y to get through the darkest times in our lives is not to view ourselves as the victims of the situation, but to look on the bright side and know that with hope in hand, we can get through any situation. And in a sense, that is what this play is about.

Miss Minidoka 1943 is an example of - if we must live with it, then letís do what we can to "keep the spirits up." In each of the ten camps for families of Japanese descent set up by the government, the internees found ways to make their days more passable -- rather than allow themselves to be the victims of the situation, they came up with ways to make the best of the situation -- they started baseball teams and bands, they set up classes and libraries, they formed choirs and drama clubs, they published newspapers and yearbooks, they had dances and Christmas parties, and yes in Minidoka they even put on a beauty pageant! So this musical is a tribute to all the people who still managed to find the hope and appreciate the beauty that exists in life, despite the tragic circumstances they were placed in.

A very special thanks to Bea Kiyohara who directed the wold premiere of Miss Minidoka 1943 and gave me my first opportunity to work on this show. To Al Chang, Lisa Pan, Susan Mayeno, Stan Asis, Blaise Cordero, Nina Escadero, Nora Rebusit, Lee Ann Yabuki, and Eddie Zuniga who were cast with me and helped to develop the show. To Ken Katsumoto, Kerry Kumasaka, Audrey Fan, and Masaye Okano Nakagawa who joined in for the first production and helped to develop the script and their characters further. And to David Kobayashi, Nancy Calos Nakano, Nancy Griffiths, Deirdre delaCruz, Antonio del Rosario, Winston Rocha, Tim Gojio, Tiffany Hanako Saito, David Hsieh and Manuel Cawaling, who all have played roles in subsequent runs and contributed ideas that helped make the script what it is today. Also thanks to all the previous musicians, composers, designers, production crews, Bengie Santos and Uncle Bob Santos for all of your generous support of the show. And especially to Gary Iwamoto, who got the whole ball rolling in the first place.

--Kathy Hsieh, Director of Miss Minidoka 1943

ReAct's presentation of Miss Minidoka 1943 was presented with permission from GARY IWAMOTO.

Special Thanks To...

Bank of America for rehearsal space
The Cast & Crew for production support
Manuel R. Cawaling for production support
Ron Choi for production support
Civic Light Opera for loaned costumes
Driftwood Players for loaned costumes
The Elliott Bay Book Company for promotional support
Freeholf Studio/Theatre Lab for rehearsal space
Justus George for production support
George Paul Glanzman for production support
Daniel Gonzalez for production support
Lorna Hee for production support
David Kobayashi for production support
The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center for production support
Living Voices for production support
Charlene Mano for production support
Jim Nakamura for production support
Northwest Asian American Theatre for loaned props
Lisa Pan for production support
Colleen Parker for production support
Mayumi Tsutakawa for production support
Patti West for production support
The Wing Luke Asian Museum for production support
Craig Wollam for production support
Rick Wong & Rk Productions for videography
Kim Anh Yanda for production support

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Photo Gallery

Marc delaCruz, Leilani Berinobis-
Wollam and Drew Dalire pose for
a publicity photo promoting
ReAct's Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

Ivan Dinh as Shifty and
Audrey R. Fan as Amy in
a publicity photo for ReAct's
Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

Masaye Okano Nakagawa as
Sensei, Maydene Pang as
Kathy and Kathy Hsieh as
Takako in a publicity
photo for ReAct's
Miss Minidoka 1943.
Photo: David Hsieh.

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