Ben Randle

DIRECTOR

'American Spies' Reading in National Queer Theater Series

On October 14th, National Queer Theater (NQT) presented a reading of Sam Hamashima’s new play, American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables directed by Ben Randle, as part of its Village Reading Series at Arts on Site, in NYC’s East Village.

 (L-R) Sarah Murdoch, Natsuko Hirano, Teresa Attridge, Sara States, Bruce Yang. (Sean Velasco-Dodge)

(L-R) Sarah Murdoch, Natsuko Hirano, Teresa Attridge, Sara States, Bruce Yang. (Sean Velasco-Dodge)

American Spies centers on a Japanese-American immigrant family on December 7, 1941, as they react to news of war and not yet aware of America’s response - and their fate. Hamashima examines immigration and assimilation between generations while employing magical realism, anime-inspired action sequences and surprising humor.

Hamashima’s plays include American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables, Good Intentions, Heat Wave, and Finding Earth. Hamashima’s work has been produced and/or developed by John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Post Shift Theatre, Wall to Wall Theatre Festival, and University of Michigan. Besides playwrighting, Hamashima also writes poetry. Hamashima’s slams have been performed in venues throughout Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, and New York City. Selected poems can be found in the Solos Literary Magazine. Awards include Roy W. Cowden Fellowship, Dennis McIntyre Prize for Distinction in Undergraduate Playwrighting, Kennedy Center Undergraduate Playwrights’ Workshop, and the coveted Hopwood Award in Drama at the University of Michigan. Member and founder: Asian College Theatre Ensemble (ACTE). Hamashima earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. samhamashima.com

The cast of the reading included Alton Alburo, Teresa Attridge, Natsuko Hirano, Genevieve Shi, Paul Moon, Sarah Murdoch, Sara States, and Bruce Yang.

The Village Reading Series also featured plays by Ben M. Jones, Shualee Cook, and Adam A. Elsayigh.

Launched in 2018 by Adam Odsess-Rubin, National Queer Theater fosters and supports LGBTQ communities through social justice in the performing arts. Further information is available on the theater's website at nationalqueertheater.org.

 Sam Hamashima and Ben Randle during a post-reading disscussion. (Sean Valasco-Dodge)

Sam Hamashima and Ben Randle during a post-reading disscussion. (Sean Valasco-Dodge)