The Pasadena Playhouse Presents its Summer 2017 Season with Hold These Truths, Zen Shorts and Shout Sister Shout!

Published : Monday, May 15, 2017 | 2:26 PM

L-R: Hold These Truths, Zen Shorts, Shout Sister Shout!

Pasadena Playhouse (Danny Feldman, Producing Artistic Director and Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director Emeritus) rounds up its 2016-2017 Season with three summer programs including Hold These Truths, a critically acclaimed play about the unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi, from May 30 – June 25, 2017; Shout Sister Shout! The Gospel of Rock. The Spirit of the Blues., a world premiere musical about Sister Rosetta Tharpe – The Godmother of Rock & Roll from July 26 – August 20, 2017; and Zen Shorts, a puppet show for all audiences featuring video projections and original songs, about a Zen master panda, based on the Caldecott award-winning book, from June 10 – 25, 2017. All productions will be presented at Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue).

Pasadena Playhouse Summer 2017 Productions:

Hold These Truths
Written by Jeanne Sakata
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky
Starring Ryun Yu
Produced in association with East West Players
May 30 – June 25, 2017
June 4, 2017 – Press Opening

Hold These Truths tells the inspirational true story of civil rights hero Gordon Hirabayashi who took his fight all the way to the Supreme Court. An exceptional evening of theatrical storytelling, Ryun Yu’s brilliant solo performance has captivated audiences and sold-out shows from coast-to- coast. Written by Jeanne Sakata (Off Broadway’s Hold These Truths), the play is directed by Jessica Kubzansky (Pasadena Playhouse’s Pygmalion and Boston Court’s Co-Artistic Director) and stars Ryun Yu (Geffen Playhouse’s Take Me Out).

The Seattle Times said, “Absorbing account of civil disobedience…It’s a fascinating saga…eloquent writings. ‘Hold These Truths’ is also surprisingly humorous and openhearted,” and The Huffington Post raved, “Stunning! A brilliant portrayal of a genuine hero…a story that needs to be shared again and again.” BroadwayWorld said, “‘Hold These Truths’ is excellent…and important…everyone should see it! 90 minutes of exceptional theatrical storytelling. Between the tight script and an outstanding performance by Ryun Yu.”

Hold These Truths premiered at East West Players in 2007 under the title Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi.

Hold These Truths begins performances on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 and will play through Sunday, June 25, 2017, with the official press opening on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Performance schedule is Tuesday – Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $25 – $115.

Running time for Hold These Truths is 90 minutes.

Pasadena Playhouse will present Playhouse Talks post-show engagement activities after every performance of Hold These Truths, as part of Pasadena Playhouse’s mission as the State Theater of California to bring people together to facilitate open and productive conversations with neighbors, friends and community. For a schedule of Playhouse Talks post-show events visit

Shout Sister Shout! – The Gospel of Rock. The Spirit of the Blues.
Conceived and directed by Randy Johnson
Book by Cheryl West
July 26 – August 20, 2017
July 30, 2017 – Press Opening

Shout Sister Shout! – The Gospel of Rock. The Spirit of the Blues. is conceived and directed by Randy Johnson, the creator of the wildly popular smash hit A Night With Janis Joplin, which broke box office records at Pasadena Playhouse before transferring to Broadway. The world premiere musical features a book by Cheryl West (Play On!). Shout Sister Shout! tells the story about the life and music of legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose hits include “Down by the Riverside,” “This Train,” and “Strange Things Happening Every Day.” Tharpe, also known as The Godmother of Rock & Roll, was a great trailblazer in the history of American music and influenced some of the greatest Rock & Roll and R&B singers of all time, including Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash.

Casting and the creative team for Shout Sister Shout! will be announced at a later date.

Shout Sister Shout! begins performances on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 and runs through Sunday, August 20, 2017, with the official press opening on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Performance schedule is Wednesday – Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Notes: There will be one Tuesday performance on August 15 at 8:00 p.m. and no Sunday night performance at 7:00 p.m. on August 20. Tickets range $25 – $115.

Zen Shorts
Based on the Caldecott Award-winning children’s book Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
Adapted for the stage by Elizabeth Wong, Skyler Gray, Sean T. Cawelti, Miles Taber, Matthew Hill, Landon Johnson, with Rogue Artists Ensemble
Directed by Sean T. Cawelti
Co-produced with Rogue Artists Ensemble
June 10 – 25, 2017

What happens when a Zen Master Panda bear moves next-door to a ten year-old boy and his two siblings? Award-winning Rogue Artists Ensemble brings this delightful tale to life on stage at Pasadena Playhouse. With over 30 fabulous puppets from around the globe, fantastic video projections and original songs, ZEN SHORTS is based on the award-winning children’s book of the same name. Panda Stillwater imparts centuries of Zen master wisdom about family, friendships and getting through the ups and downs of growing up.

Zen Shorts has been selected as a Feature Performance at the 2017 National Puppetry Festival, a gathering of the nation’s leading puppet artists which will be held in July at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Zen Shorts performance schedule:

Saturday, June 10 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m
Sunday, June 11 at 10:00 a.m.
Monday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 17 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m
Sunday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m.
Monday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, June 23 at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m
Sunday, June 25 at 10:00 a.m.

All tickets are $25 and general admission seating.

Running time for Zen Shorts is 60 minutes.

Free post-show engagement activities include a puppetry workshop on June 10 for all audience members, free kids yoga classes on select dates and other events. Please visit for more information.

Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena. Tickets for Hold These Truths and Zen Shorts are available online at, by phone at (626) 356-7529 or by visiting the Pasadena Playhouse Box Office. Shout Sister Shout! tickets will go on sale on Monday, May 15, 2017. For more information on all productions at Pasadena Playhouse visit








blog comments powered by Disqus