Telling true tales is something that Broadway has begun to welcome much more of on stage, especially when the show has a story that has an immediate connection to the current society. Last season, Broadway brought ‘Fun Home,’ the story of a young girl discovering her sexuality for the first time, and now there’s ‘Allegiance.’ This show tackles the message of race relations in America in the time of internment camps after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. In the 1940’s, Japanese-Americans were seen as inferior and second-class citizens, just as people of Islamic faith are seen in today’s cruel society.
The three stars of ‘Allegiance’ came to AOL Build recently to discuss the impact the story has on Broadway audiences and what lessons are being learned in their show. ‘Allegiance’ is a personal story for George Takei, as the musical follows his family’s real experiences during the war. Takei explains that “we sense the echo of 75 years ago here today” in terms of the parallels of how we treated Japanese-Americans then compared to how we treat Muslims now. Japanese-Americans were being blamed for what happened at Pearl Harbor and
being demanded to be removed from the country, while Muslims in America are also having the blame put on them for the actions of ISIS and political candidates are calling for similar tactics to remove Muslims from the country all together. There is a common saying that describes this scenario that goes, “those who don’t pay attention to history are destined to repeat it.” While the story of ‘Allegiance’ isn’t all dark and sad, it reminds the audience of where we have been as a nation and opens eyes up to where we are going.
Representation is important in mediums like Broadway, especially because of the diverse backgrounds of the American people and those who come to visit New York City. We have finally come to a point in time where all races, genders and other backgrounds have the ability to find a place in theater, which is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. Read the full story at HuffingtonPost.com
See why Allegiance “brings a cheering crowd to its feet every night.”
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