A staged reading of “Nisei” will be held on Saturday, May 27, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.
Created by Richard Allen and Eliot John Hagen and developed with the assistance of Koji Steven Sakai and Tim Southam, “Nisei” is a new TV pilot that follows Kenji Takagi, a veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and his family after they’re released from the Tule Lake concentration camp in 1946.
His family consists of his mother, Miyu, his kid brother, Jushiro, and his grandfather, Atsuto. Entitled “Gaman,” the pilot tells the story of their return to San Francisco and their first steps at establishing a new life after having lost so much. On the way, we’re introduced to 10 key cast members and a handful of smaller roles that will grow in the series.
“With the rising xenophobia and bigotry towards specific subsets of the population and certain groups of people, we felt that now was the time for this story to be told,” said Hagen. “Recent events like the Muslim ban, and fears that persecution of minorities will escalate have made the story of ‘Nisei’ topical. While the series takes place after internment, it’s an integral part of what made all of these characters what they are.
“Diversity was also a key element in the creation of this show, but our main goal was to create a series that Asian American actors would thrive in. Asian Americans make up such a large portion of the population, but they’re disproportionately underrepresented on TV and in film. ‘Nisei’ hopes to change that, with six of the 10 principal roles designed for Asian American talent.”
The reading stars Roy Huang, Tamlyn Tomita, Chad Michael Collins, Grace Su, Stefanie Butler, Ian Lauer, and Chris Kunio. After the reading, there will be a brief Q&A session with the creators and producers. A reception will follow.
Free with museum admission. RSVP at http://nisei.eventbrite.com.