Empire of the Son
Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2016.
9th floor PS8637 .H522 E47 2016
Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)
Empire of the Son is an original one-hander 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 – from the ashes of World War II and 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 intergenerational 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. It is the story of two generations of CBC broadcasters and the radio silence between them. The 2016 remount in Vancouver completely sold out, and Empire of the Son is currently touring across Canada.