Audience Comments

Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC
Evaluation Report for:
“Innocent When You Dream”
February 23, 2008
Meyer Auditorium — Freer Gallery of Art

Co-sponsored by: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, Timescape Arts Group, National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, Japanese American Citizens League, and Japanese American Veterans Association

How many people attended for this event? 200 plus
How many evaluations were collected? 47

What was your overall impression of today’s program?

89% excellent (42/47)

7 % very good (3/47)

4 % no comment (2/47)

0 % good (0/47)

0 % fair (0/47)

0 % poor (0/47)

What did you like most about the program?

Amazing content.
Having actors perform and be able to answer questions after.
Presentation and emotional content.
Acting.
Informational content.
Great play, professional actors, thought-provoking content and FREE!
The play itself.
The complex issues of the WWII internment of AJAs.
Well-done production and discussion with cast.
Candid about being Japanese-American and common perspective or view to general audience.
It’s Japanese.
Presentation of the issues and the play construction.
Historical aspect.
The play itself.
Powerful educational impact of the play and seeing APA actors.
Discussion.
Multiple perspectives and time 1940s vs. today.
Based on real history, bringing out lots of emotions that are common to all of life into an Asian American experience. The AA historical story needs to be told whether through fiction or in documents. It covered basic racial prejudices, euthanasia, sexuality, and family.
Play was amazing and panel was interesting.
The intimacy and informality of the event, while maintaining the sense of urgency and importance of the topic at hand.
The actors.
Chance to ask questions to the director and cast after play.
Innovative and original.
Educational, entertainment, Free! Japanese American experience. Good time during the day/Weekend.
Question and Answers.
Excellent Acting and great story. I really liked the story. Shifting between the past and present.
That it revealed a topic that isn’t discussed and even brushed under the rug in the US.
Wonderful play and acting.
Good Reading. Sheds insight of Nisei facing injustice.
Outstanding production. Entertaining and educational.
Fantastic script and reading.
Important history shown in theater.
The depth. Hard to pinpoint one thing in particular. It was all encompassing, reflective, and touched upon a variety of emotions.
Line reading, discussion after words, quality of the play, respect for remembering the date of historical significance.

What other comments would you like to share with us?

The program was put together very well.
Keep up the good work.
Keep up the great work!
Excellent program!
This type of presentation should visit many schools.
Congratulations.
Very Punctual! Add an intermission?
This was impressive, thank you. And thank you for not charging an entrance fee.
Very good program! Please bring more. I would like to see one on American Indians.
Thank you for bringing “Innocent When You Dream” to the Smithsonian and for the annual day of remembrance.
Yes, not much widely known about interment. I wondered about possible over presentation of kibei/nisei among “No/Nos”- those ending at Tule Lake. I was at Santa Anita Assembly Center and Rohwer, Arkansas.
The most exciting part of the event was to see the extremely diverse audience and a full house. Congrats!
Thankful for your excellent work! Keep it up! Weekend programs are easier to attend.
I think this program is not only a great idea, but a really necessary one as well. This particularly- Japanese internment camps- is a topic that I feel is STILL looked over in both our American and Japanese education systems. This is truly an important time of history to remember. Thank you.
Suggest expanding what happened to the No, No Boys and their families…they were considered disloyal and shipped to the Tule Lake Segregation Camp by the U.S. Government. As a veteran of three wars and an AJA, it’s a bit offensive in the play that a member of 442nd/100 BN committed atrocities against a young, 16-year-old Nazi soldier, to alleviate misery by wantonly shooting him to death. Medics routinely carry morphine to take care of such situations, which often happened. Moreover, it’s against the Geneva Convention. I believe members of the 442nd RCT were very much sensitive and cognizant of fellow men, including fair treatment of enemies in Europe as well as in Pacific (by MIS). After all, all 442nd RCT soldiers from mainland- volunteered from the 10 concentration camps- to demonstrate loyalty to the United States. For you information, as a company commander of the U.S. Army in Vietnam/a chief of Med Lab during Desert Storm, I would not permit and tolerate any soldiers committing such acts of violence…if occurred, court marshal trials would certain to follow against the perpetrator. Suggest in the play that the main character, AJA, soldier, comfort the 16 yr old Nazi soldier by administering morphine (as in the movie, “A Letter from Iwo Jima”). Otherwise, audience would have the wrong impressions/perceptions that AJAs did also carry out atrocities against fellow men (even though the play was fiction). Again, it may perpetrate a stereotype of Japanese during WWII. It’s bad enough that Japanese Imperial Army committed rapes and atrocities in China and other Southeastern Asia prior to and during WWII. American public still cannot differentiate Japanese from Japan and US, AJAs.

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