About Me

My photo

Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

You can check out but you can never leave...

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?

My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nope, you didn't miss it! You've got one more chance: "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" MCC Benefit in Los Feliz (7/28 7pm)

Soldiers: (L-R) Scott Shima; Douglas N. Hachiya; Mack Wei. Crusaders: (L-R) Jacky Jung, Ariel Kayoko Labasan, Zoe Jean Kim
*All Photos by Marlan Warren, Copyright Protected



Event: Founders Metropolitan Community Church Fundraiser
Play: "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" (Staged Reading)
By Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan
Date and Time: Friday, July 28
Refreshments and Silent Auction: 7 p.m.
Showtime: 8 p.m.
Donation: $10.00 (available at the door)
RSVP: rogerowens@mccla.org
Location: 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

"The work of the Crusaders, although obscure and unknown, was a means by which young people in confinement were able to prove that no physical boundaries could stop them from transcending beyond the barbed wire."
--Yuri Kochiyama (aka Mary Nakahara)

On Fri. July 28, Founders Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Los Angeles will present as a fundraiser a staged reading of the one-act play, "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" by Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan. All proceeds will go to benefit this interdenominational, primarily LGBTQ activist church.

The cast features Ariel Kayoko Labasan as Yuri Kochiyama, Jacky Jung, Zoë Jean Kim, Douglas N. Hachiya, Steve Shima, Mack Wei, and Marlan Warren.

The play focuses on a women's movement founded by renowned human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama when she was known as 20-year old "Mary Nakahara" and incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II with her fellow Japanese Americans. Calling themselves "The Crusaders," the girls and women mobilized a morale-boosting letter-writing campaign that ensured that "any soldier missing a letter" would receive mail.

Warren originally directed and produced "Bits of Paradise" as a Reader's Theater piece at The Marsh Theatre in San Francisco in 2008. "Asian Week" stated: "Bits of Paradise places its footprint on the timeline of a much-needed theatrical examination of the Asian American journey."

Recently, the play was reworked and re-titled "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders," after Warren joined forces with actor/playwright Ariel Kayoko Labasan, whose solo show, "Yuri Speaks Out!" played at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Labasan will reprise her role as Yuri Kochiyama, portraying the activist from ages 20 to 84.

"My first encounter with Yuri Kochiyama was while I was in New York," said Labasan. "As an actor, I was seeking out roles that made me feel braver. I searched online for 'strong Asian American women in history'...and suddenly she popped up!"

Hollywood's Rogue Machine Theatre presented three performances of the play on July 19 and 20 to receptive audiences. "(Bits of Paradise) is a very touching play," said Rogue Machine's producer, Amanda Bierbauer, who hosted the event.

"When we were looking for rehearsal space, we stumbled upon MCC, not realizing the facility had once housed a congregation that protested the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II," said Warren. "We are deeply grateful to the interim pastor, Reverend Kevin Downer, who helped us acquire the rehearsal space and time this seven-actor show requires."

In fact, Warren added, the church has a cross made of the wood from a concentration camp barracks: "And it will be part of the set!"

Ariel Kayoko Labasan as Yuri Kochiyama; Douglas N. Hachiya as Bill Kochiyama


Before she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and before she held Malcolm X while he lay dying and before she occupied the Statue of Liberty in protest of injustice, Yuri Kochiyama was a young woman in love named Mary Nakahara whose fiancé, Bill Kochiyama, had volunteered to fight in order to prove loyalty to the U.S. while the people he loved were held in an American concentration camp.

"It sounds like a very dark time, and in fact it was," said Warren. "But the contents of The Crusaders Scrapbook in the Japanese American National Museum are full of humor and cheer and flirtations." In 2001, Warren was granted permission by JANM to adapt the scrapbook into a play for educational purposes.
Mack Wei (Lying Down); Scott Shima (Sitting); Douglas N. Hachiya (Standing)


Two of the cast members--Douglas N. Hachiya and Scott Shima--have great-uncles who fought in the legendary 442nd Combat Team.

The play is an ensemble effort, as Warren notes: "Actor Mack Wei has outfitted the men with uniforms and rifles from a short film he made, and Progressive Rags print shop owner, Radical Jack, in Miami, Fla. has donated three 'Free Mumia Abul-Jamal' t-shirts for Yuri to wear."

The young women playing The Crusaders will also appear as octogenarians being interviewed for a documentary. In fact, Warren has been making a film with the elderly "Original Crusaders" since 2008 ("What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama's Crusaders").

"Working with this material has been a healing process," said Warren. "For those whose family history incurred these scars, it is very personal. And for those of us who feel empathetic with its story of loss and love, it is also very meaningful."

MCC Website: http://www.foundersmcc.org
Play Website: http://bit.ly/2tSXRto
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2u0vo8g



Dog Walker on Winona Blvd. 7/17/17







Yesterday afternoon, 7/24/17, as I walked home on Winona
Blvd. in Los Feliz, I witnessed this dog walker who had this arthritic dog in
its harness and the dog was crying in pain as the guy tried to hurry it along
by moving rather quickly around the grass by the sidewalk. I recognized the dog
and its harness because it is usually being "walked" on the grass on
the opposite side of the street. It is a wide and rather busy street, so I
wondered how it got across. Was it carried? Slowly dragged across the asphalt?
And why was it crying out? I had always seen it calm with the walker barely
moving. I tried to ask the walker what was going on, but he flew into
temper--and his replies made little sense. He kept yelling something about
"Are you accusing me of putting the dog in the sun?" (They were under
a tree). And 'Mind your own business. Do you even own a dog?" At first, he
said the dog was ill and full of gas, which was why it was crying out. But I
could see that every time he abruptly pulled up on the harness to drag the dog
along in a circle, and that caused the cries. The walker kept ordering me
around: "Take a video!" And he even called the owner while I stood
there (although he kept telling me not to wait) and complained that I was
making accusations. I went to my place, got my point-and-shoot camera, and
returned. I took one still shot and then began videotaping. This made him yell
at me: "Don't just take pictures! Take a video!" I kept going, and he
might have gotten afraid that it was indeed video because he stopped. Just
stood there, blocking my view of the dog with his backside. Then he dragged the
dog behind a tree. I got a closeup of the dog's tongue hanging out of its mouth
in the 90 degree heat. And it gives a few weak cries. Not as badly as when I
first saw them. I plan to notify the owner (someone else told me her name is
Valentina and gave me her address). Praying for this dog's peace and safety.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dress Rehearsal Photos: "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" opens tomorrow, Wed., 7/19 (3p & 8p) at Rogue Machine Theatre in Hollywood!




Zoe Jean Kim and Mack Wei
Ariel Kayoko Labasan (Young Yuri Kochiyama) and Douglas N. Hachiya (Bill Kochiyama)


Jacky Jung and Scott Shima

Play Title: "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders"
Playwright/Director/Co-Producer/Actor: Marlan Warren
Co-Collaborator/Actor/Co-Producer: Ariel Kayoko Labasan
Cast: Ariel Kayoko Labasan, Douglas N. Hachiya; Scott Shima; Mack Wei; Jacky Jung; Zoë Jean Kim and Marlan Warren.

Location: Rogue Machine Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hollywood, CA 90029

Performance Dates and Times:
Wed. July 19, 2017 (3pm and 8pm)
Thurs. July 20, 2017 (8pm)
Doors open 1 hour before showtime.

Admission: $10
Tickets may be purchased at the Box Office on the day of performance or on the Rogue Machine Theatre "Buy Tickets" Page at: http://bit.ly/2tR3FqH
Please do not call the theater for reservations.
Rogue Machine Theatre Website: http://www.roguemachinetheatre.net

For more info:
Play Website: http://bit.ly/2tSXRto
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2u0vo8g


If you miss this week, we'll be back--this time playing a Benefit for the LGBT & Interdenominational Founders Metropolitan Church in Los Feliz (Fri., 7/28 at 7pm - Pre-Show refreshments & Silent Auction - Showtime @8pm)

 "Bits of Paradise places its footprint on the timeline of a much-needed theatrical examination of the Asian American journey."--Asian Week

At the invitation of Rogue Machine Theatre in Hollywood, "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" will be presented as a staged reading on July 19 (3pm and 8pm) and July 20 (8pm). The play, by Marlan Warren in collaboration with Ariel Kayoko Labasan focuses on a women's movement founded by renowned human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama when she was known as 20-year old "Mary Nakahara" and incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II with her fellow Japanese Americans. Calling themselves "The Crusaders," the girls and women mobilized a morale-boosting letter-writing campaign that ensured that "any soldier missing a letter" would receive mail.

"The performances will be more 'staged' than 'reading,'" explained Warren, who co-produces with Labasan, and directs the play. "Some actors may not be holding scripts, and there will be action sequences, props and costumes."

Warren originally directed and produced "Bits of Paradise" as a Reader's Theater piece at The Marsh Theatre in San Francisco in 2008.

Recently, the play was reworked and re-titled "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders," after Warren joined forces with actor/playwright Ariel Kayoko Labasan, whose solo show, "Yuri Speaks Out!" played to packed houses at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Labasan will reprise her role as Yuri Kochiyama, portraying the activist from ages 20 to 84.

"My first encounter with Yuri Kochiyama was while I was in New York," said Labasan. "As an actor, I was seeking out roles that made me feel braver. I searched online for 'strong Asian American women in history'...and suddenly she popped up!"

"We wish to thank Rogue Machine Theatre for this amazing opportunity," said Warren. "They are currently featuring 'Les Blancs' by Lorraine Hansberry, and their set looks exactly like the interior of a Japanese American Internment barracks."

"Before she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and before she held Malcolm X while he lay dying and before she occupied the Statue of Liberty in protest of injustice, Yuri Kochiyama was a young woman in love named Mary Nakahara whose fiancé, Bill Kochiyama, had volunteered to fight in order to prove loyalty to the U.S. while the people he loved were held in an American concentration camp.

"It sounds like a very dark time, and in fact it was," said Warren. "But the contents of The Crusaders Scrapbook in the Japanese American National Museum are full of humor and cheer and flirtations." In 2001, Warren was granted permission by JANM to adapt the scrapbook into a play for educational purposes.

The cast members are a mix of Asian American heritage, including two--Douglas N. Hachiya and Scott Shima--who have family members who fought in the legendary 442nd Combat Team.

The play is an ensemble effort, as Warren notes: "Actor Mack Wei has outfitted the men with uniforms and rifles from a short film he made, and Progressive Rags print shop owner, Radical Jack, in Miami, Fla. has donated three 'Free Mumia Abul-Jamal' t-shirts for Yuri to wear."

The young women playing The Crusaders will also appear as octogenarians being interviewed for a documentary. In fact, Warren has been making a film with the elderly "Original Crusaders" since 2008 ("What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama's Crusaders").

"Working with this material has been a healing process," said Warren. "For those whose family history incurred these scars, it is very personal. And for those of us who feel empathetic with its story of loss and love, it is also very meaningful."



Search This Blog