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Coming to WHYY Hold These Truths
By Jeanne Sakata | Directed by Desdemona Chiang
Hold These Truths on film

A filmed performance of Hold These Truths airs on WHYY-TV Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 9pm. 

SYNOPSIS: As a young University of Washington student and practicing Quaker, Gordon Hirabayashi struggles to reconcile his deep admiration for the U.S. Constitution with the government’s 1942 orders to forcibly remove and intern over 120,000 people of Japanese descent from the West Coast. Gordon's remarkable resistance ultimately leads to the famous Supreme Court case Hirabayashi v. United States, and continues to resonate today as we encounter questions of national security, citizenship, and what it means to be an American. Steven Eng plays Gordon Hirabayashi (and 37 other characters!) in Jeanne Sakata's critically-acclaimed solo play. 

Hold These Truths was scheduled to run on the People's Light Steinbright Stage March 18–April 19, 2020, but was cancelled just days before its first public performance. While we're disappointed that this beautiful production wasn't able to play for a live audience, we were able to capture a multi-camera recording of one last performance. The filmed version of Hold These Truths was made available through the People's Light website for a limited time and will now air on WHYY-TV on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 9pm. Those in WHYY's broadcasting zone can also tune in online at

Read Steven Eng's essay "My journey bringing Gordon Hirabayashi to life" on 

People's Light thanks the Kumi and Bill Martin Foundation for their underwriting of this broadcast.

Cast and Creative Team
Gordon Hirabayashi
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Stage Manager
Discover More
Read about the genesis of HOLD THESE TRUTHS, and why we chose to include it in our 45th Anniversary Season.
"Great leaps . . . are made up of a thousand smaller steps of individuals who simply and irrevocably decide to take a step in the right direction."
Hirabayashi took a stand more than 70 years ago – and left a strong legacy of civil rights activism that continues today.
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