ACTORS (from left) Kelvin Chiang, Yilin Hsu-Wendlandt, Clara Sao and Isaac Choi star as a family in a World War II Japanese internment camp in the world premiere production of Heart Mountain at Santa Monica College.

Some Japanese-American former internees from World War II are scheduled to attend a panel discussion following the Sunday, Nov. 4 performance of Heart Mountain at Santa Monica College.
The SMC Theatre Arts Department will present the world premiere of Heart Mountain, a drama that includes dance and powerful imagery telling the story of a family in a World War II Japanese internment camp, beginning Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 11.
The play was written by G. Bruce Smith, SMC’s public information officer and an award-winning playwright.
Heart Mountain was commissioned by theatre arts department chair Perviz Sawoski, the director and choreographer. The play takes its name from one of the internment camps established for the ordered relocation of Japanese and Japanese-American citizens by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.
More than 100,000 persons of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps in remote areas of the country, including Heart Mountain in Wyoming, which became a center for a draft resistance movement, according to Smith.
The play follows a fictional family as it struggles to maintain dignity and cohesion in the face of difficult choices of conscience, and was inspired by research that included interviews with former camp internees and their relatives, as well as other sources, Smith said. The play also includes dance and movement inspired by Butoh, as well as audio-visual material, Smith said.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the SMC Theatre Arts Studio Stage, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. An additional 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 10.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling (310) 434-4319 or online at Parking is free on Friday evenings and weekends.