“Question 27, Question 28,” a play curated by Chay Yew, will be presented by Tamlyn Tomita/Daniel Blinkoff and JACL Pacific Southwest District on Thursday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo, as part of the JACL National Convention.

Clockwise from top left: Mika Dyo, Tamlyn Tomita, Meg Cashel, Katie Kitani.

The staged reading will feature Tomita, Mika Dyo, Katie Kitani and Meg Cashel.

In the wake of America’s entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and unconstitutional incarceration of over 125,000 people, based solely on race without evidence of wrongdoing, charges, or hearings, and led to the suppression of many of their civil rights. More than two-thirds of those incarcerated were U.S. citizens.

The incarceration is remembered both for the hardship it caused and the lessons that can be learned with the hope that history will not repeat itself. One lasting legacy was the so-called “loyalty questionnaire,” which was designed to test the loyalty of the incarcerated. The questionnaire contained two questions that caused confusion, disturbance, and controversy for incarcerees.

Using these questions as a focal point to reveal the unfair and unjust treatment of these Americans, “Question 27, Question 28” brings to life not only the experience of the imprisoned Japanese Americans, but also of their non-Japanese American contemporaries and how some of them reacted to this violation of civil rights.

Told exclusively through the perspective of women, “Question 27, Question 28” is based on verbatim excerpts from oral histories and interviews.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $10 general, $5 for JACL members. Info: http://jacl.org/2023/-convention-special-events

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