by Jerry Palandino
CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP is proud to present Hold This Stone, an evening of original poetry, performance art, and dialogue by Nikiko Masumoto and Brynn Saito, on Thursday and Friday, November 9-10, 7:30 p.m., at Fresno Soap Co. Stage, 1470 North Van Ness Avenue in the Tower District. Advance tickets are available online from brownpapertickets.com or at the door on performance dates. General admission is $25 and students $20. Major credit cards are accepted.
Nikiko Masumoto and Brynn Saito are fourth generation Japanese Americans who will speak to “How do we carry, reinvigorate, and reimagine the weight of our histories?” They will guide the audience through various modes of listening.
Nikiko Masumoto is a performance artist who will offer excerpts from her successful solo show, What We Could Carry, and published poet, Brynn Saito, will share her Stone Poems, conjuring voices and stories of family members incarcerated in the Gila River concentration camp in Arizona, as well as poetry from her latest book, “Power Made Us Swoon.”
Remembering the WWII incarceration of the Japanese American Community, Hold This Stone weaves together the writings and voices of our performers to create an intimate experience of witnessing and inviting the audience to consider the power of living memory.
The Yonsei Memory Project (YMP) is a collaboration led by Masumoto and Saito, which utilizes arts-based inquiry to generate dialogue connecting the WWII incarceration of the Japanese American community with current civil liberties debates. Fiscal sponsor of the YMP is the Fresno Arts Council.
YMP recently received a grant from the California State Library’s Civil Liberties Education program to fund a Living Memory Lab, which seeks to awaken the archives of Japanese American history by creating cross-cultural and intergenerational memory practices, culminating in an interactive Day of Remembrance community performance in February 2018.
At the Friday, November 10 performance, Dr. Samina Najmi, California State University, Fresno professor, who teaches courses on contemporary U.S. multiethnic literature, will facilitate Q&A with the audience.
CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP and Artistic Director, Jerry Palladino, are proud to host this extraordinary production. Your ticket purchase is fully tax deductible and benefits the YMP and its fiscal sponsor, the Fresno Arts Council. It is advised that you purchase your tickets in advance, as Hold This Stone is performed in an intimate space and is expected to sell out.
CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP is always committed to principally bringing original works by local Valley writers to our Fresno audiences. Like our sold-out contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s R&J, directed by Fresno State Professor, J. Daniel Herring, this past August, treat yourself to experiencing Hold This Stone, yet another memorable evening of local theater you’ll not soon forget.
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