THE CASE FOR ALLEGIANCE
Allegiance which finished its Broadway February 14, 2016 is making its second appearance in theatres nationwide on Sunday, February 19 at 12:55 PM local time. You can find the nearest screening on http://allegiancemusical.com/
- •PSA: Not spon, I just think this musical is so important and beautiful.
- •Allegiance is a musical about Japanese American Internment in World War II, with a framing story in present day.The inspiration for the musical was George Takei's personal experiences in an internment camp.
- •The story follows the Kimura family, beginning with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the following years when they are forced to leave their farm in Salinas, California and are sent to Heart Mountain Internment Camp in rural Wyoming.
- •The production began development in 2008 and debuted in September 2012 at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California.It's first reading was held in July 2009 at the Japanese American National Museum.
- •It made its Broadway debut in October 2015 and closed on February 14, 2016.It got caught in the Hamilton year.
- •Allegiance was the first time in thirteen years that there was an Asian-led cast on Broadway.The previous time was in Flower Drum Song revival in 2002, also led by Lea Salonga.
- •But okay, it didn't win awards, so why should you go see Allegiance?
- •Allegiance, more than anything, should serve as a wake up call.What Allegiance does so well, better than any show I've ever seen, including Hamilton, is point out the blatant wrongness with which we treat those who aren't white. Allegiance points out a part of history which we black out, relegate to a paragraph in history books, when it was a racist and xenophobic part of our history. If you believe that Asian Americans do not feel racism, or that the "model minority" benefits them in any way, you must see this. Asian America is still reeling from it.
- •Because history will repeat itself, and we can't let that happen.Spokespeople for Trump have defended Japanese internment especially when speaking about the Muslim Ban, stating that "we've done it hard in race, we've done it based on religion, we've done it based on region," and that the Supreme Court "upheld things as horrific is Japanese internment camps" and yet Trump himself has not readily denied that he would institute internment again: "I would have had to be there at the time to tell you; the o the you a proper answer."
- •Because in order to demand better, more diverse casting, we must participate in demanding better, more diverse casting.We do not cast Asians or Asian Americans without someone in a production role being Asian American. I can tell you flat out that if there had been an all white production team on Allegiance there's like a sixty percent chance all the Japanese people would've been played by White people which is unacceptable, and yet tolerated. To demand more Asians in casting we must do two things: support Asians in production and support Asian led productions. It won't change otherwise
- •It's like $20, you're going to see a Broadway show. C'mon.
- •Remember what the Japanese said, as they were marched to camps: 我慢 ("Gaman").It means endurance, with dignity.
- •Also, there have been attacks on Asian Americans since Trump came to office so just like, some food for thought.