FEBRUARY 29–MARCH 22, 2020
1111 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
‘I’d never thought I looked different from the other kids at school, even though most of them were Caucasian. But when I went to school the day after Pearl Harbor, I realized I did look different. My hair was black, my skin was darker, and my eyes were almond-shaped. My face was the face of the enemy.’
In 1942, 12-year-old Ben Uchida and his family are forcibly removed from their home in San Francisco and relocated to Mirror Lake Internment Camp, along with hundreds of thousands of other Japanese-American families. In this unfamiliar place, removed from everything he once knew, Ben’s emotional journey is even more upsetting than his physical one. Originally commissioned by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, this play details–with anger, despair, sadness, and hope–a dark chapter in this country’s history, and tells a story that is relevant, moving, and one that cannot be forgotten.
The Big Ideas
When you are determined, amazing things can happen.
Experiencing new things can be fun.
It’s important to learn about others; first impressions can be misleading.
Ages 10 and up
This show uses historically accurate language that reflects the reality of the setting of the play (1940s America during WWII), including racial slurs, as well as some content that may be difficult for younger audience members.
THE JOURNAL OF BEN UCHIDA: CITIZEN 13559
by Naomi Iizuka
Adapted from The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559 Mirror Lake Internment Camp by Barry Denenberg
This Play was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and first produced and presented by John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2006”