Grateful Crane's "Growing Up Sansei" is coming to the East Bay!
Just the mention of a “Japanese American Dysfunctional Family Play” brings smiles and laughter to Baby Boomer Sansei who grew up in a uniquely JA family environment. Why is this so? What is it about growing up Sansei and family dysfunction that brings immediate recognition from those who were there to experience it? These questions and more will be addressed in Soji Kashiwagi’s new comedy/drama, “Garage Door Opener.”
In the play, we meet Glenn and Sharon Tanaka, a Sansei brother and sister faced with the daunting task of cleaning out their parent’s garage and house after they passed away. As they sift through dozens of empty tofu containers, kamaboko boards and broccoli rubber bands, Glenn and Sharon begin to uncover items from their past that they knew nothing about, and in the process, begin to gain a better understanding of their parents—and thems elves—by the items their mom and dad left behind. After the reading, Dr. Satsuki Ina, an expert on JA family dynamics, will facilitate a dialogue about the play with Soji Kashiwagi, and answer questions about issues such as camp and its after-effects on the Nisei, Sansei and subsequent generations, shame and not bringing shame on the family and decluttering one’s life of both emotional and physical baggage.