About this Event
John Okada, the author of the seminal Japanese American novel, ‘No-No Boy,” was born at the Merchants Hotel in Pioneer Square on September 22, 1923. We celebrate the centennial of his birth with a series of three programs. In this second program, Okada biographer Frank Abe shares his work to create a new stage adaptation of “No-No Boy” and engages in a conversation with Seattle Rep Literary Manager and Dramaturg Paul Adolphsen on the challenges adapting a novel published in 1957 for today’s theater audiences. They will be joined by actors who will read scenes from the new adaptation and discuss them with the panelists.
Presented in partnership with Seattle Rep, University of Washington Press, and North American Post.
This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation. Thanks to media sponsor The Seattle Times.
About the Presenters:
Frank Abe is The Seattle Public Library’s Fall Guest Curator. He is lead author of a graphic novel, "We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration" (Chin Music Press), named a Finalist in Creative Nonfiction for the Washington State Book Award. He wrote and directed the award-winning PBSdocumentary "Conscience and the Constitution" on the largest organized resistance to the camps.He won an American Book Award as co-editor with Greg Robinson and Floyd Cheung of "John Okada: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy" (University of Washington Press), in which he authored the first-ever biography of Okada and traced the origins of his novel. He and Cheung are currently co-editing "The Literature of Japanese American Incarceration,” due in May 2024 from Penguin Classics.Abe helped produce the first-ever “Day of Remembrance” in Seattle in 1978 with writer Frank Chin, and together they invented a new Japanese American tradition to reclaim the history of wartime imprisonment and publicly dramatize the campaign for redress. He was an original member of Chin’s Asian American Theater Workshop in San Francisco and studied at the American Conservatory Theater. Abe worked as a reporter for KIRO Newsradio in Seattle, and as communications director for King County Executives Gary Locke and Dow Constantine and the Metropolitan King County Council, and as a media aide to Executive Ron Sims.
Paul Adolphsen serves as Literary Manager and Dramaturg at Seattle Rep. Originally from Seattle, Paul has previously worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR and Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL. As a dramaturg, Paul has worked with Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, Ashland New Plays Festival, and others. He was a founding producer of the UMass New Play Lab and served as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Paul's writing about theater and performance has been published in Theatre Journal, on howlround.com, and by Penumbra Theatre Company. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Author John Okada (1923-1971) was born in Seattle and attended Broadway High School and the University of Washington before his wartime incarceration in concentration camps in Puyallup and Minidoka, Idaho. He volunteered for the Military Intelligence Service and served as a translator in Guam, after which he earned a degree in library sciences and worked for a time in the Business Department of The Seattle Public Library. His only novel, “No-No Boy,” was published in 1957 and has been embraced by generations of students and readers. He died of a heart attack at the age of 47.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Seattle Public Library-Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, United States