George Takei brings his personal experience as a Japanese-American to "Allegiance," a new Broadway play tracking the Asian-American lifestyle during World War II America.
George Takei is a lot of things: activist, Star Trek regular, master of social media. As of late, the American-born actor can add "Broadway Star" to the growing list with the debut of his play, "Allegiance." The play—which was written by Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo, and Marc Acito with insights from Takei—takes viewers through life for an Asian-American in the United States during World War II. Takei, the son of a Japanese immigrant himself, wove his own story in and out of the performance, with his life experiences heavily influencing the plot. At a talkback after the show, Takei shared what it was like to be forced out of his home and into an internment camp in 1942.
The performance is a history lesson that reads more like a diary—a peek into a topic that hasn't previously been performed on a Broadway stage. "This is a landmark production," says Takei. "The first time the story of the internment is being told on the American stage. We are very grateful that so many people have played a part in making it happen.”
Equally as impressive as the subject matter is its cast. Takei continues: "There have been plays that employed Asian-Americans before and they were interesting plays told by non-Asian-Americans. This is the first time that the creative theater artists are also Asian-American. I think from this point on, many stories about the Asian-American experience will be told from the Asian-American perspective, our personal experiences. The diversity of America is going to be reflected on the Broadway stage because Allegiance has broken ground."
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.