Blue HERON Theatre
Ardelle Striker, Ph.D., Producing Artistic Director
Presents the Premiere of
IF TRUTH BE KNOWN
By JUDI L. KOMAKI
Directed by CHRISTINE SIMPSON
Dramaturg: LESLIE (HOBAN) BLAKE
CONSTANCE BOARDMAN JAMES PATRICK EARLEY LYDIA GASTON BEA SOONG
Costume Design: DEBORAH J. CANEY
Lighting Design: ALAN KANEVSKY
Set Design: CZERTON LIM
Sound Design: DAVID M. LAWSON
Production Stage Manager/Asst. Mgr.: SARAH FORD
Press Representative: JIM BALDASSARE
ArcLight Theatre, 152 West 71st Street (between Broadway and Columbus Avenue)
June 1-24, 2007
Judi L. Komaki’s IF TRUTH BE KNOWN is a timely look at racism based on what some would call a “justified” reason. What better reason to dislike, not trust, and/or ostracize someone than the fact that your country is at war with their country? And if the inhabitants of the warring country happen to have distinguishing features like dark skin or slanted eyes, well the easier to define your enemy.
IF TRUTH BE KNOWN takes place in Washington, D.C. between 1981 and 1982. Vietnam veteran Philip (James Patrick Earley) and Max (Lydia Gaston), a woman of Japanese heritage, are in the middle of an uneasy relationship. Against the backdrop of newscasts touting Reagan politics and protests by Vietnam veterans, the couple try to find their way to a lasting connection made ever more difficult by the possibility that Max’s looks remind Philip of those people he was forced to kill in Vietnam. An interesting concept that Komaki fails to impart to the audience.
This play starts with trite and unbelievable repartee between the two that does nothing to establish the relationship. And it doesn’t get any better as the problems evolve. The characters lack passion and at some points even identity, leaving the audience awash with stated theories from characters they don’t know or like. The one exception is Constance Boardman, whose character of Aunt Jane is a natural and convincing breath of fresh air. IF TRUTH BE KNOWN is full of potential and could have been a powerful statement. Unfortunately, its execution did not follow through.
- Laurie Lawson -