Lionelle Hamanaka

Lionelle Hamanaka

Lionelle Hamanaka is an Associate member of the Dramatists Guild and a native New Yorker. She has won the Jacob Weiser Award, two Ray Stark Awards in memory of Ross Alexander for plays and the Patai Award for an essay; she published and edited Collateral Damage after winning a grant from the A.J. Muskie Foundation. Three early plays were produced in New York City and a story and poem appeared in ‘And Then’...
Lionelle Hamanaka is an Associate member of the Dramatists Guild and a native New Yorker. She has won the Jacob Weiser Award, two Ray Stark Awards in memory of Ross Alexander for plays and the Patai Award for an essay; she published and edited Collateral Damage after winning a grant from the A.J. Muskie Foundation. Three early plays were produced in New York City and a story and poem appeared in ‘And Then’ magazine. She studied playwriting with Howard Plfanzer and Dr. Kathleen Potts at CCNY, and with Gary Garrison and Stefanie Zadravec at the Dramatists Guild Institute. In 2018 she co-founded Crossways Theatre.

Plays

  • Niju Hibakusha
    Story: Tsutomu Yamaguchi was an engineer in Hiroshima on a business trip to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries when the city was city bombed Aug 6, at 8:15 am. He had forgotten his hanko (pass allowing him to travel), he went back to his office to retrieve it and was walking back to the docks when the US American bomber Enola Gay, dropped ‘Little Boy’ atom bomb. He crawled to a shelter, where he found his 2 co workers...
    Story: Tsutomu Yamaguchi was an engineer in Hiroshima on a business trip to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries when the city was city bombed Aug 6, at 8:15 am. He had forgotten his hanko (pass allowing him to travel), he went back to his office to retrieve it and was walking back to the docks when the US American bomber Enola Gay, dropped ‘Little Boy’ atom bomb. He crawled to a shelter, where he found his 2 co workers, and rested for a day. He went back home to Nagasaki, for the second blast three days later. The Bomber Bockscar dropped ‘Fat Boy’ Atom bomb on August 9. He was exposed to residual radiation while searching for his family. He married in the 1950’s, to another survivor, and had two daughters. He was the only person recognized by Japan to have suffered both blasts. He was satisfied just to be alive for a while. When he became older, he wrote a book, (Ikasareteiru inochi) and in 2006 in a documentary about Niju Hibakushi. Twice Survived: The Doubly Atomic Bombed of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, screened at the UN, in which he pleaded for abolition of atomic weapons. Late in life, he suffered from leukemia and cataracts-symptoms of radiation sickness. His wife died of kidney and liver cancer at age 93. His three children also had connected illnesses. This short play relives his tragedy, his anti-nuclear-war activism, and the revelation of hope and faith that made him feel there was a chance for mankind to overcome its dark side.
  • Aftermath
    Cora, a housewife and office worker, wakes from a nightmare: she sees her son Matthew bleeding on a battlefield. Frank, a Vietnam veteran activist, comes home from a day of petitioning and calms her fears. Frank has PTSD from the Vietnam War. The military reports Matthew has died, but a buddy of Matthew's calls and reports having seen their son at Landstuhl, the U.S. hospital in Germany. The couple finds...
    Cora, a housewife and office worker, wakes from a nightmare: she sees her son Matthew bleeding on a battlefield. Frank, a Vietnam veteran activist, comes home from a day of petitioning and calms her fears. Frank has PTSD from the Vietnam War. The military reports Matthew has died, but a buddy of Matthew's calls and reports having seen their son at Landstuhl, the U.S. hospital in Germany. The couple finds their son there, sick with PTSD. Frank tries to rehabilitate his son at Walter Reade, and eventually the family returns to their NY apartment. Matthew smiles for the first time when he learns his friend Daniel has returned alive from deployment to Iraq. Matthew joins an Iraq veteran group at the local VA and becomes active in the antiwar movement, refusing his second deployment, and finally accepting help from other veterans and mending his dysfunctional relationship with his parents.
  • Wildcat
    A group of telephone operators in New York City on a wildcat strike, after construction on the job makes hearing customers impossible. The camaraderie of the women, from varied backgrounds, cross generational, is the glue that holds the shop together. The construction noise is the last insult they can stand, on a job with almost non existent benefits and pay below the poverty level.
  • The Guides
    A group of tour guides in New York City try to join a trade union after enduring multiple tours each day and no voice in working conditions. Their scuffling life style contrasts sharply with their job of 'selling' the most glamorous city in the U.S. and their own devotion to the city. The vote and their struggle to be heard and be counted is a dramatic episode of democracy in action on the 'street' level.
  • Elizabeth Jennings
    Elizabeth Jennings was a schoolteacher in New York City who desegregated the streetcars in 1854. She jumped aboard a streetcar reserved for whites because she was late for church, and her parents supported a lawsuit against the company that went to Civil Court in Brooklyn, where she was represented by Chester Arthur, later to be President of the U.S. This play is about the struggle against racism during the...
    Elizabeth Jennings was a schoolteacher in New York City who desegregated the streetcars in 1854. She jumped aboard a streetcar reserved for whites because she was late for church, and her parents supported a lawsuit against the company that went to Civil Court in Brooklyn, where she was represented by Chester Arthur, later to be President of the U.S. This play is about the struggle against racism during the Draft Riots in New York, tracing Ms. Jennings' married life, the death of her infant son, her escape to Brooklyn and then New jersey, and her return to New York, when she established the first black kindergarten in the Tenderloin district up to her death at 74 in 1901.
  • Pawns
    Rie and Jack Maguire marry young and move to New York City with their baby from Pittsburgh after the steel industry dries up. Jack climbs to success in the toy business, and Rie is a stay at home mother who does art part time; and after drifting apart, domestic violence tears their marriage apart and Rie leaves. This sets off a custody dispute, kidnapping, and the more fame Rie achieves as a fashion designer,...
    Rie and Jack Maguire marry young and move to New York City with their baby from Pittsburgh after the steel industry dries up. Jack climbs to success in the toy business, and Rie is a stay at home mother who does art part time; and after drifting apart, domestic violence tears their marriage apart and Rie leaves. This sets off a custody dispute, kidnapping, and the more fame Rie achieves as a fashion designer, the lonelier she becomes. The court system favors Jack as the more materially secure parent, and Rie loses time with her daughter as she strives to attain the life style that her daughter has become accustomed to. The play puts in perspective the real life anguish and compromises divorced families endure and the choices they make along the way.