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Empire of the Son

Empire of the Son
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Tetsuro Shigematsu
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 1772011045
ISBN-13: 9781772011043

About the Play:

Empire of the Son is a full-length drama by Tetsuro Shigematsu. The story of two generations of broadcasters and the radio silence between them. Father and son shared the same profession – each of them communicating with millions of their listeners, but never with each other.

Empire of the Son is a one-man show that blurs the boundaries between artistic disciplines and continents. It is a unique theatrical hybrid that combines cinematography with the raw immediacy of a performance piece intimately connected to real life in real time. Through a series of audio interviews, playwright Tetsuro Shigetmatsu discovers vast worlds contained within his emotionally remote father Akira – from World War II and standing in the ashes of Hiroshima to swinging London in the 1960s and work in broadcasting at the BBC. As the playwright learns about how his own father was once a son, he realizes all the ways in which he himself needs to step up and become a better dad. This funny, poignant story of one immigrant family and their inter-generational conflicts reminds us that no matter how far we journey out into the world to find ourselves – across decades and continents – we never stop being our parents' children.

Empire of the Son premiered in 2015 by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre at The Cultch in East Vancouver sold out its entire extended run and was named the 'Best Theatre Show of 2015' by the Vancouver Sun. Since then the play completely sold out its Vancouver remount in 2016 has toured professional theatres across Canada, including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Cast: 1 man

What people say:

"The charming West Coast hit … is about a first-generation Canadian's fraught relationship with an immigrant parent – an artistic son coming to terms with his hard-shelled father. … While there are some clever visual elements to his show, it's Shigematsu's radio voice, larger than life, and the inclusion of recordings of his father's, post-life, that lends Empire of the Son its unusual tone, slightly distanced and yet extremely intimate – and easy to relate to. … it will be hard for anyone to avoid shedding a couple of tears at this lovely, low-key stage memoir." — Globe & Mail

"Empire of the Son is exquisite. It's also painstakingly honest … the storytelling is poetic, associative – and often funny. I can't say enough good things about Empire of the Sonone of the best shows of the year." — Georgia Straight

"A celebration of the extraordinary in the ordinary." — Ottawa Citizen

"Artistic son has ambivalent relationship with distant, stern immigrant father. It's a common subject, but BC's Tetsuro Shigematsu breathes new life into it in Empire Of The Son." — NOWtoronto

About the Playwright:

Tetsuro Shigematsu is a Canadian playwright, comedian, and radio broadcaster. Originally trained in the fine arts, he found a creative outlet writing for CBC Television's This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Then, in 2004, he became the first person of colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Roundup on CBC Radio, for which he co-wrote and co-produced nearly a thousand hours of network programming.

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