A 100th/442 Short Film
the play by TIM TOYAMA
Directed by CHRIS TASHIMA
Tim has had his plays produced at The Complex in Los Angeles, and The
Road Theatre Company at the Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood.
Among them is VISAS AND VIRTUE, which became the Academy Award® winning
short film on which he served as Executive Producer. He has served on
the Road Theatre's Artistic Board as well as the Literary Committee at
East West Players theatre, both in the Los Angeles area. It was in the
David Henry Hwang Writers Institute at East West Players that he wrote
the play VISAS AND VIRTUE, as well as several other works including INDEPENDENCE
DAY, inspired by his own father Zip Toyama's World War II internment camp
experience, and which became the basis for the short film, DAY OF INDEPENDENCE.
Most recently, he has written a sequel to INDEPENDENCE DAY, following
Zip and his teammates Hog and Satch, one year later (1944), as they enlist
in the segregated all-Japanese American fighting unit, the famed 442nd
Regimental Combat Team. Soon to be a new short film, MEMORIAL DAY will
be Cedar Grove Productionsâ€™ tribute to the Nisei World
War II Veterans who comprised the most highly decorated unit, for its
size and length of service, in the history of the U.S. Military.
Written by DAN KWONG
Story by DAN KWONG, SOJI KASHIWAGI,
CHRIS TASHIMA & TIM TOYAMA
Aiji Okada is a 16-year old baseball fanatic who works on the family strawberry
farm in California but dreams of glory as a pitcher -- much to the annoyance
of his hard-working Afather. When World War II breaks out, Aiji and his
family are among the 120,000 Japanese mericans living on the west coast
who were incarcerated by the U.S. government in "relocation centers,"
basically prison camps located in desolate areas of the country.
crosses paths with longtime baseball man Hiroshi Sakata and his daughter
Grace, who initiate a baseball league to help endure the misery of incarceration.
With ingenuity and determination they carve out a diamond in the desert
and the national pastime becomes a way for thousands of Japanese Americans
to keep their spirits alive behind barbed wire. Meanwhile Aiji and his
father continue to struggle with their rocky relationship.
When a friendly
exhibition game between the camp All-Stars and the reigning high school
State Champions turns into more than just fun, Aiji must rise to meet
the challenge. With the help of Hiroshi, Grace and a strange-looking baseball,
Aiji discovers what it means to be a team, a family, and an American.
Performance artist, writer and teacher Dan Kwong combines autobiographical
storytelling with multimedia, dynamic physical movement, poetry, martial
arts, and music. His work has been presented in Bangkok & Chiang Mai
Thailand, Hong Kong, Bali, London, Mexico City, and all across the U.S.
He is founder and curator of "Treasure in the House," the Asian
Pacific American performance and visual art festival presented at Highways
Performance Space in Santa Monica since 1991.
received numerous fellowships including the National Endowment for the
Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Art Matters
Inc, Brody Arts Fund, Franklin Furnace, LA Cultural Affairs Department,
Asia Pacific Performance Exchange, and has been nominated twice for the
Alpert Award in the Arts. His forthcoming book, From Inner Worlds
to Outer Space: The Solo Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong is
being published by The University of Michigan Press in early summer 2004.