12-1-A (play)

A play by Wakako Yamauchi that was first produced in 1982. Set in the concentration camp in Poston, Arizona—the same camp the author was incarcerated in—from May 1942 to July 1943, the play follows several Japanese American families at Poston as their characters grapple with the loyalty questionnaire, military service, and possible resettlement. The title of the play refers to the camp address of the Tanaka family, block 12, barracks 1, unit A. Yamauchi wrote the play while the Rockefeller Playwright in Residence at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. It premiered on March 11, 1982, at East West Players in Los Angeles, the third of four plays in their "Internment Camp Series". Subsequent productions include Asian American Theater Co, San Francisco (1982); Kumu Kahua Theatre, Honolulu (1990); University of California, Los Angeles (1992); and California State University, Los Angeles (2012).

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

Related Articles

For More Information

Yamauchi, Wakako. "12-1-A." In The Politics of Life: Four Plays by Asian American Women. Edited, with introduction and commentaries, by Velina Hasu Houston. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993. 45–100.

"Finding Aid for the East West Players Records, 1965–1992." Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Hara, Eriko. "The Politics of Re-narrating History as Gendered War: Asian American Women's Theater." Journal of American and Canadian Studies 18 (2000).

Kurahashi, Yuko. Asian American Culture on Stage: The History of the East West Players. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999.

Lee, Josephine. Performing Asian America: Race and Ethnicity on the Contemporary Stage. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997.

McDonald, Dorothy Ritsuko, and Newman, Katherine. "Relocation and Dislocation: The Writings of Hisaye Yamamoto and Wakako Yamauchi." MELUS 7.3 (Fall 1980): 116-25.

Morioka-Steffens, Tamayo Irene. "Asian Pacific American Identities: An Historical Perspective Through the Theatre Productions of the East West Players, 1965 to 2000." Ph.D. dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, 2003.

Shimakawa, Karen. "Swallowing the Tempest: Asian American Women on Stage." Theatre Journal 47.3 (October 1995): 367–80.

———. National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.