“Tea,” Velina Hasu Houston’s play about Japanese war brides dealing with life in America, was scheduled to be presented by Hero Theatre from April 10 to May 17 at Atwater Village Complex in Los Angeles but has been postponed. The following message, dated March 18, is from Producing Artistic Director Elisa Bocanegra.


This past week has been unreal for all of us. Still amidst a time of panic, I’ve been so moved by the letters of support we have received. Artistic directors from around the country, patrons and artists have written to us wishing Hero Theatre their best during this time of crisis.

Our incredible leadership team has been working around the clock from their homes. We took shifts sleeping as one of us was always awake to check in on news updates. We also wanted to be there for our family of artists to offer some support as it is truly a time where we need one another.

Friends, in light of what is happening in response to the COVID-19/novel coronavirus and the recent shutdown in San Francisco, we will be holding rehearsals for “Tea” virtually beginning next week and postponing “Tea” performances. Performances will resume this summer, unless our local and national government require us to do differently.

“Tea” is happening.

Our friends at the Circle X Theatre who manage the performance space where “Tea” is scheduled to take place, tell us they are committed to helping us get the production up. Rebecca Wear, our director, and Velina Hasu Houston, our playwright, have been crucial in helping us during this time at Hero and they are still committed to this production.

The actors have been bravely staying tuned for next steps. Our set designer Carlo Maghirang has just completed what has to be one of the most breathtaking designs I have ever seen.

We are moving forward.

Making this decision regarding “Tea” was not easy. Our company is young. We had to postpone our upcoming fundraising event which was to raise money to bring out our mentee from a historical black college for the summer.

Elisa Bocanegra

We have to cancel The Super Sabado Show this June, which was to raise money for our children’s education program in Puerto Rico. We have been working so hard to make that program happen. I believe in using theatre as a tool to help the kids who have survived Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes.

Oh friends, people are panicking and asking for ticket money back. It has been overwhelming. All that given…

“Tea” IS happening.

We must stay unified and extend grace to one another!

My associate artistic director Gabe Figueroa will be solidifying our goal summer performance dates within the next three weeks.

If you currently hold a ticket for “Tea,” that ticket is still valid for the production. Once we confirm the updated dates with the venue we will work with all current ticket holders to select a new performance date.

If you are not able to attend, we ask that you please consider donating your ticket to help keep our humble company alive. I personally don’t have the heart to put these artists out of work.

If you subscribe to our emails and follow us on social media, it’s because you believe in the important social justice work Hero Theatre does. Please continue to believe in us.

If you still would like a refund, we understand and will work with you; we just ask that you please be patient as these take time to process. We are inundated in work moving the production and handling our programming cancellations.

If you can’t attend “Tea,” any and all donations you can make to help us is incredibly appreciated.

All amounts are greatly welcome. My sincerest love …


The cast of “Tea”: Jennifer Cheung, Lisa Dring, Tomoko Karina, Ariel Kayoko Labasan, Jully Lee, Andrew Lwin, Jessica Ma, Rosie Narasaki, Jane Park Smith, Stephanie Wong. For updates, visit www.herotheatre.org.

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