Allegiance is an epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II, following the story of the Kimura family in the weeks and years following Pearl Harbor, as they are relocated from their farm in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the rural plains of Wyoming.
Their story reflects the deep conflicts of a nation and a people divided, as younger brother Sammy strives to prove his loyalty and patriotism, while older sister Keiko comes to resist their internment and treatment by the government. The Kimura’s conflicts mirror the larger rift between the Japanese American Citizens League, which urged cooperation with the internment and unwavering loyalty to America, and the draft resisters of Heart Mountain, who steadfastly refused to serve a country that had put them in concentration camps. This universal story sheds new light upon a dark, under-explored, and wrenching chapter of American history. Through the remembrances of Old Sam, the painful past is revisited, and at long last, redemption and understanding begin to heal decades-old wounds.
Allegiance sheds new light upon a dark chapter of American history. One of the first Asian musicals in more than a decade, with a stunning and moving score, Allegiance connects the audience with universal themes of love, family and redemption.
Allegiance had its World Preview at The Old Globe theater in California in 2012, one of the largest and most highly-respected regional theaters for development of new musicals in California and in the United States.
In fall of 2008, we were seated by complete coincidence by George Takei and his husband Brad at an Off-Broadway show, where a brief conversation revealed a mutual love of theater. By a second and truly divine coincidence, the very next day we were seated again by George and Brad at the Broadway show, In The Heights. At intermission, we approached George, curious as to why he had been so emotionally affected by the father’s song in which he laments his inability to help his daughter in her time of need. George explained to us that it reminded him of his own father’s frustration at his inability to help his family during their internment at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas. Over the course of that intermission, George recounted his personal experience as a child in the internment camps of America, and we immediately recognized that what we had just heard was the seed of a profoundly human, great American story that had yet to be told on the Broadway stage.
Allegiance takes place behind the barbed wires of Heart Mountain Relocation Center, an internment camp in the wastelands of Wyoming named for the iconic mountaintop peak that overlooked it. Japanese-American artist Drue Kataoka conceived the original logo, an “A” as two simple sumi-e brushstrokes forming a mountain. The entire original art was realized as a traditional brushstroke painting.
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