American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables

News travels across the Pacific on Dec. 7 resulting in foolhardy claims of Japanese sympathizers. As calls for war perpetrate a nation, The Ishii Family undertakes radical assimilation to calm the local police and fearful neighbors. Mixing family testimony and cartoon charm, the Japanese Americans’ response to national disaster develops into a sparkling fable on what it means to be family.
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American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables

Recommended by

  • Kate Danley:
    11 Jul. 2019
    Beautiful prose and rhythms, rich with imagery, and filled with powerful ideas that will leave you thinking long after the play is done.
  • National Queer Theater:
    28 Oct. 2018
    Sam's writing is pure magic. Tackling a difficult subject, he breaks apart his prose with a unique brand of magical realism, weaving Japanese anime into a queer take on the Japanese-American experience in WWII. Take note, Sam Hamashima is a young playwright to watch! We produced a reading of American Spies last month and our audience went crazy for Sam's words and nonstop creativity.

Character Information

  • Natsuko
    Japanese American
    ,
    Cis female
    Mother. Japanese American. Issei
  • Tamihei
    Japanese American
    ,
    Cis male
    Father. Japanese American. Issei
  • George
    Middle School-High School,
    Japanese American
    ,
    Cis male
    Son. Japanese American. Nissei
  • Paper Crane
    Japanese American
    Spirit of Wisdom. Japanese American
  • Maneki Neko
    Japanese American
    Spirit of Luck. Japanese American
  • Miss Nakayama
    Japanese American
    ,
    Cis female
    Neighbor. Japanese American. Issei
  • Diane
    White
    ,
    Cis female
    The neighbor.
  • The Officer
    White
    ,
    Cis male
    Looking for Clues.
  • The Buzzards
    Hungry. Prejudice. Parasitic.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    University of Michigan
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
    ,
    2018

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    The Hub Theatre
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    University of Michigan, EXCEL
    ,
    2018

Awards

Hopwood Drama Award
,
University of Michigan, Hopwoods
,
2018
Dennis McIntyre Award for Distinction in Playwriting
,
University of Michigan, Hopwood Awards Program
,
2018