“I reckon we were all fighting for the same thing.”

Hiro Kanagawa, Playwright


"Lovingly and meticulously staged"
Louis B. Hobson
Calgary Herald
"Short, clear scenes... moving forward at a cinematic clip"
Kelly Nestruck
The Globe & Mail
"Evident how much care went into this production"
Alyssa Hirose
Vancouver Magazine
"Velocity and fluidity... overlapping transitions that feel seamless"
Stephen Hunt
CTV News
"Guffaws as well as tears... adept direction"
Jessica Werb
"Terrible and wonderful tale of the worst and best of which human beings are capable"
Jerry Wasserman
Vancouver Sun

Director's Note

I've always maintained that one of​ our responsibilities as theatre artists is to “reveal to heal.” The title of this play​ ​reveals what this story is all about​. In this case, the parallel stories of a Japanese Canadian family interned during the Second World War and a young Canadian solider held hostage as a POW in Asia. 

As a director, to assist in translating the words and history of the characters within Forgiveness, while revealing their poetic and powerful journeys towards healing, was a true gift. I was deeply honored to have been asked to direct Hiro Kanagawa’s epic adaptation of Mark Sakamoto’s breathtaking memoir at this moment in history​ ​in which a paradigm shift of diverse storytelling is taking place on our stages.

A black and white photo of Stafford Arima standing with his arms crossed in dramatic lighting


5x Winner — Broadway World Awards
Best Direction of a Play​
Best New Play or Musical
Best Play
Best Set Design
Best Sound Design

3x Winner — Betty Mitchell Award
Outstanding Direction​
Outstanding Production of a Play
Outstanding New Play

3x Nominee — Betty Mitchell Award
Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama​
Outstanding Projection or Video Design​
Outstanding Costume Design

Finalist — Governor General's Literary Award (Hiro Kanagawa)


Adapted by Hiro Kanagawa
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Production Credits

Set Design: Pam Johnson

Costume Design: Joanna Yu

Lighting Design: John Webber

Sound Design: Joshua D. Reid

Original Composition: Reza Jacobs

Video Design & Animation: Cindy Mochizuki

New Media System Projection Design Team: Sammy Chien & Vanka Salim 

Dramaturg: Stephen Drover

Assistant Director: Howard Dai

Fight Director & Stunt Coordinator: Mike Kovac

Intimacy Director: Jessica Anne Nelson

1960s Dancing & Celtic Jig Choreography: Shelley Stewart Hunt

Swing Dance Choreography: Gregory Pember

Cultural Consultant & Dialect Coach (Japanese Canadian): Julie Tamiko Manning

Japanese Language Consultant: Yayoi Hirano

Voice & Dialect Coach (East Coast Canadian): Jane Macfarlane

Military Consultant: Peter Colenutt

Producer: Theatre Calgary / The Arts Club