Good Citizen

The West Linn Alliance for Inclusive Community is pleased to present a staged reading of the play “Good Citizen” by George Taylor. This event is co-sponsored with the West Linn Lutheran Church. The project is supported in part by a grant from the Clackamas County Cultural Program (managed by the Clackamas County Arts Alliance) and made possible by funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The West Linn Alliance for Inclusive Community will present a staged reading of Good Citizen, a play by George Taylor, on Monday, May 6 at 7:00 pm in the West Linn Lutheran Church on 20390 Willamette Drive. This free public event, funded in part by grant support from the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition, is directed by Heath Hyun Houghton. Register at Eventbrite.

Good Citizen taps into the darker currents of Oregon’s history of the 1940’s. One cold night in March, a young Japanese-American walks the streets of Portland trying to get arrested. “Run along home, sonny boy,” says a cop on the beat, “before you get into trouble.” This is exactly what the young attorney wants. He flashes some papers at the police station and is thrown into the drunk tank. The year is 1942. The man is Minoru Yasui, and he’s out to test the constitutionality of a military curfew imposed on all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.

Good Citizen is a local story that resonates with contemporary citizenship and civil rights struggles. Director Heath Hyun Houghton describes the work as exploring “questions about what it means to be a citizen, and how that definition changes between individuals, populations, and communities.” The play investigates, according to Houghton, “how we need to constantly and rigorously explore, redefine and defend our relationship with our identity as citizens.”

The story of the play is even more timely today than when it was first enacted in 2010, remarks playwright George Taylor, “because it shows how easy it is to slip into demagoguery” In his view, we think we have put things behind us, but we see the same things happening today with regard to prejudice and immigration issues. “This is an Oregon story,” says Taylor.

            The cast includes Scott Sakatmoto, Brett Wilson, Soren Gillaspy, Thien Kim Bui, Cynthia Shur Petts, Robin Woolman, Jenna Yokoyama, Sumi Wu. A moderated discussion will follow the performance.