For more video clips and photos of the play and the documentary that grew out of it, please visit:
BITS OF PARADISE WEBSITE
Excerpt from staged reading of the One-Act Play "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" by Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan at Rogue Machine Theatre (July 2017) featuring Labasan as human rights activist, Yuri Kochiyama, and Warren as a filmmaker who wants to document the little-recognized war effort of girls and women behind the barbed wire of the "Japanese American Internment" who called themselves "The Crusaders" as they embarked on a letter-writing campaign to boost the morale of the Japanese American soldiers who were fighting to prove patriotism while their families were held in U.S. concentration camps.
Warren adapted verbatim the letters and circulars sent out to "any soldier missing a letter" (the en masse correspondence was all written by Yuri) from The Crusaders scrapbooks in the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.
Videographer: Michael J. Labasan
These scenes from the play will be integrated into Warren's documentary film, "What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama's Crusaders" -- currently in post production.
NOTE: This show was also performed as a benefit for Founders Metropolitan Community Church at the invitation of Rev. Kevin Downer and FMCC Board. (July 2017).
[This play was originally produced in 2008 at The Marsh in a Reader's Theater version, "Bits of Paradise" by Marlan Warren.] Director: Marlan Warren Producers: Marlan Warren and Ariel Kayoko Labasan Special Thanks to Rogue Machine Theatre (Hollywood, CA) and to Founders Metropolitan Community Church (Los Angeles).
Cast: Ariel Kayoko Labasan............Yuri Kochiyama and Mary Nakahara
Douglas N. Hachiya..............Bill Kochiyama & Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Jacky Jung..............Various Crusaders
Zoe Jean Kim..........Various Crusaders
Scott Shima............Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Mack Wei...............Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Theater Sound: Amanda Bierbauer (Tech) and Roger Owens (Sound Design)
Facebook: @YuriKochiyamaPlay and @CrusadersFilm