Living Voices: “Within the Silence”

On Thursday, April 18, 2019 the Robert H. Jackson Center invites students in grades 9 through 12 to experience history in a unique and provocative way. The Jackson Center is bringing Living Voices offered by Theatreworks USA to present multiple performances of Within The Silence. Students will experience a unique multi-media combination of theater, digital, and live interaction that creates a high impact experience and unforgettable journey through history.

The program will be performed at the Jackson Center at 9:00 a.m., 10: 30 a.m. and noon for students in grades nine through twelve.

“Within The Silence” follows Emi Yamada, a teenage Japanese-American girl living in Seattle until her family is forced to sell or give away their possessions and home after President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066. Seventy-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld  the President’s order to relocate all Americans of Japanese descent to internment camps in the interest of national security in Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944).  Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote a stinging dissent that challenged the Court’s conclusion that the petitioner unlawfully refused imprisonment, noting, “[Fred]Korematsu . . . has been convicted of an act not commonly a crime. It consists merely of being present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born, and where all his life he has lived.”

The Executive Order allowed the U.S. army to round everyone in Emi’s community up and place them in a camp called “Camp Harmony” on the grounds of the Washington State Fair.  Emi’s father is taken away by the FBI to a special camp in Montana.  When Emi and her parents return to Seattle they slowly try to rebuild their lives without being able to talk about the camps to other Americans and Emi tries to look to the future and honor her family. She longs, however, for a time of greater understanding when her story can be told.

The program will begin with a Q&A session for the student audience.  Teachers are encouraged to use the Teacher Guide on our website before the program to prepare students in advance.  The program is free and part of the NY State Common Core curriculum. Pre-registration is required.

Click here to download Within the Silence Special Curriculum and Bibliography

Please register for this event using the form below.