CATS presents ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ |

CATS presents ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’

The California premiere of Snow Falling on Cedars is presented by the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS). Snow Falling on Cedars is adapted to the stage by playwright and director Kevin McKeon from the best-selling novel by David Guterson.

This compelling drama begins with the discovery of the body of a local fisherman tangled in his net, and a Japanese-American fisherman is arrested for his murder. For the residents of an island in the Pacific Northwest, the wartime internment of the Japanese has left a bitter legacy, and the trial of Kabuo Miyamoto polarizes the community even further.

A white newspaperman may hold the key to the accused man’s guilt or innocence. But Ishmael Chambers’ sense of right and wrong is clouded by his enduring love for Kabuo’s wife, Hatsue. Their biracial romance as children had been destroyed by fear and cultural prejudices. Still wounded, Ishmael must conquer his feelings before simmering pressures from all sides upend the scales of justice and tear the community apart.

Based on the 1994 best-selling novel and winner of the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Snow Falling on Cedars, the play, premiered at Book-it Repertory Theatre in Seattle in 2007. Prior to the stage adaptation, it was made into a movie in 1999, directed by Scott Hicks and starred Ethan Hawke and Youki Kudoh. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

The two previews tonight and Friday are discounted, and the Gala Opening on Saturday includes a reception following the show.

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools selected Snow Falling on Cedars as its 2010 “Nevada County Reads” book. To support our local libraries, the 8 p.m. Friday, March 26 performance is a benefit for Friends of the Nevada County Libraries. Tickets to the benefit may be purchased at any western Nevada County library branch or at the door. Call (530) 265-1407 regarding the benefit.

15 cast members portray an ensemble of 44 roles. With Mr. McKeon at the helm, CATS is embarking on a new theatre art form of bringing great literature to the stage, where narration and dialogue are seamlessly woven into the context of the scene.

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