Every playwright dreams of  bringing a play to New York, and I was no exception.  But as a first-time playwright,  I had no idea how to get there!

It took five years.  Five years of dozens of phone calls, letters of inquiry, letters of recommendation, letters of rejection.  There were meetings and lunches.  There were ups, downs, making the rounds.  A  production finally seemed in place–then suddenly fell through.  At that point I remember thinking, ”Well, I’ve done all that I can do.  I gave it my best shot.  I can let it go.”

But fortunately, Zak Berkman and the Epic Theatre Ensemble  did NOT let it go.  They had hung in there, leaving no stone unturned over those five years to make a production happen. 

We did a developmental reading at the Lark Play Development Center.  Then a  weeklong developmental residency at Dartmouth College with New York Theatre Workshop.  Then more readings back in Manhattan–one more with New York Theatre Workshop, and yet another with John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Then we did a few nights of a ”prototype production workshop” with the Epic–-free readings for the public, to which we invited NYC community leaders and heads of organizations whom the Epic thought would have strong interest in Gordon’s Hirabayashi’s story.

And finally, in 2012–-it DID happen.  Our off-Broadway premiere at the the 14th Street YMCA, starring Joel de la Fuente, directed by Lisa Rothe, our special evening photographed by Lia Chang.  Hit with Hurricane Sandy in our second week, we had to shut down performances for two weeks–but thanks to the persistence of our amazing team and a huge helping of good luck, we reopened and finished our run with the amazing news that Joel had been nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.

Best of all, I made four lifelong NYC friends–Joel,  Lisa, and LIa, and Zak–with whom I’ve shared so many more memories as we’ve continued to share HOLD THESE TRUTHS across the country to this very day,