The Cultch and VACT are thrilled to present the highly anticipated world premiere of Tetsuro Shigematsu’s 1 Hour Photo. From the creators of Empire of the Son, 1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century; from growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being interned as a Japanese Canadian during World War II, to guarding the Canadian arctic against Soviet bombers during the height of the Cold War. His life experiences are particularly resonant as 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Canadians. Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, 1 Hour Photo is an intimate and captivating snapshot of a life lived courageously in the face of hardship and heartbreak; a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colors of our times.
For more than 20 years Tetsuro Shigematsu has been telling stories across an array of media. He is a writer, actor, performance artist, broadcaster, scholar, filmmaker, and theatre artist. In 2015 Tetsuro Shigematsu captivated audiences with Empire of the Son, which became an instant sold-out hit. Garnering rave reviews from critics and audiences, Empire of the Son was nominated for six Jessie Richardson Awards including Outstanding Production of a Play– Small Theatre and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Small Theatre, plus the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Innovation Award. The success of Empire of the Son led to its remount at The Cultch the following year – which also sold out completely – and a successful tour all across Canada, included a run at the National Arts Centre.
In 1 Hour Photo, Shigematsu brings back his signature style of cinematic storytelling, the magic of miniatures projected live that mesmerized audiences in Empire of the Son. After befriending 90-year old Mas Yamamoto, Tetsuro began recording interviews he affectionately refers to as ‘Mondays with Mas’. The stories that emerged while they sat together at the kitchen table were the acorns that grew into this mighty saga. 1 Hour Photo allows us to experience an epic life that illuminates a little known chapter of Canadian history.
The show runs October 3 through 15 and tickets are available at tickets.thecultch.com