One petite Asian woman will fill the stage at the Admiral Theatre Jan. 11, as Jude Narita presents “From the Heart,” a one-woman show with five different vignettes.
Narita is the award-winning creator of several one-woman shows featuring the fictitious stories of women of Asian descent. She is Japanese-American.
The stories in this performance are of a Korean student who is struggling in her new American high school and is befriended by a black student who teaches her about jazz; a Cambodian refugee amazed by the abundance of America yet haunted by memories of her lost family; a Japanese-American woman who sees the memory of the internment camps in her mother; a fairy tale about a little girl caught in the bombings of Hiroshima, being chased by “Little Boy” and a young Chinese American who wants her own all-American identity, until she learns about the early Chinese miners in California.
The characters come from other plays that Narita has written, including “Coming Into Passion,” “Stories Waiting To Be Told” and “Walk the Mountain.”
A reviewer from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin called “Coming Into Passion,” “funny, sad, shocking, enlightening, empowering, heart-warming and vitally relevant to all of us — a consummate work of art and marvelously entertaining.”
Narita has honed her characters in presenting her plays for the past 18 years. She is best known for her award-winning play, “Coming Into Passion/Song For A Sansei,” which ran for two years in Los Angeles. She was the writer, producer and actor.
The play earned her multiple awards, including the Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award, a Drama-Logue Award and The James Wong Howe “Jimmie” Award from the Association of Asian Pacific American Artists.
In 2006 Narita received the Western Arts Alliance Jerry Willis Award for “Artistic Excellence and Extraordinary Leadership in the performing arts community.”
She has toured “Passion” internationally, playing sold out performances.
A reviewer in the Strait Times of Singapore said, “So powerful is Narita that she transcends color and class, celebrating, instead, the power of universal experience: motherhood, love, loss and bereavement. Each character is so deeply researched and well-written that every phrase opens a little window into her history. But the greatest gift is Narita’s performance.”
Through her portrayals of these women Narita breaks through Asian stereotypes to celebrate both the differences and similarities between Asian and American culture.
The characters are a gift to the audience, from Narita’s heart.