SMC — The Santa Monica College production of “Heart Mountain” — a world premiere drama about the struggles of a family in a World War II Japanese internment camp — has been selected for the prestigious 2013 Regional Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, the school announced on Monday.
“Heart Mountain,” which was mounted at SMC in November, combines a traditional narrative with dance, martial arts and powerful imagery.
“Heart Mountain” is one of seven plays selected from 179 productions at 55 colleges and universities judged throughout the western region: Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Hawaii. The plays will be performed at the regional festival, which will be held Feb. 13-15 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles.
“I am pleased ‘Heart Mountain’ will be performed at the festival because this story needs to be told,” said Theatre Arts Department chair Perviz Sawoski, who directed and choreographed “Heart Mountain.” “I am still shocked that over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in the United States during World War II for no reason other than their ethnicity and the anti-Japanese paranoia that existed at the time.”
Fundraising performances of the play will be held at the college prior to the festival Friday-Sunday, Feb. 1-3. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the SMC Theatre Arts Studio Stage on the main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door (including a service charge). Call (310) 434-4319 Monday through Friday or go to www.smc.edu.
The play was written by G. Bruce Smith, SMC’s recently retired public information officer and an award-winning playwright with production credits in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Minnesota. Most recently, his play “After Us the Savage God” won 2011 playwriting awards in New York and Ohio and was selected for opening night for The Road Theatre’s Festival of New Plays in August 2012 in North Hollywood.