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Empire of the Son

by Tetsuro Shigematsu

Going on its second tour starting this November!

"Empire of the Son is exquisite. It’s also painstakingly honest… the storytelling is poetic, associative—and often funny. I can’t say enough good things about Empire of the Son… one of the best shows of the year."
- Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

Book Your Tickets Now

November 22-26, 2017 | Resource Centre for the Arts, St. John's, NL
December 1, 2017 | Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB
January 16-28, 2018 | Martha Cohen Theatre, Calgary, AB
January 31 - February 18, 2018 | Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, AB

About the Show

The second tour of the original, multi-disciplinary play by former CBC broadcaster Tetsuro Shigetmatsu who discovers vast worlds contained within his emotionally remote father – from the ashes of World War II and Hiroshima, to swinging London in the 1960s. As he learns about how his own father was once a son, Tetsuro realizes all the ways in which he himself needs to step up and become a better dad. Empire of the Son is a funny, emotional portrayal of parent/child relationships, and a reminder of no matter how far we journey out into the world to find ourselves – across decades and continents – we never stop being our parents' children.

Empire of the Son originally premiered at The Cultch in October 2015. The show was completely sold out before it even opened – unprecedented for the premiere of a new Canadian play. Its subsequent extension was also completely sold out.

Playwright & Performer: Tetsuro Shigematsu*
Director/Original Concept Dramaturgy:
Richard Wolfe*
Dramaturg: Heidi Taylor (Playwrights Theatre Centre)
Set Design: Pam Johnson
Lighting Design: Gerald King
Costume Design: Barbara Clayden
Sound Design: Steve Charles
Audio Dramaturg: Yvonne Gall
Stage Manager: Susan Miyagishima*
Technical Director/Production Manager: Jayson McLean
Props Master: Carol Macdonald
Video Design Consultant: Remy Siu
Apprentice Stage Manager: Maria Zarrillo
Apprentice Lighting Designer: Tory Ip
Documentary Audio: Yoshiko & Akira Shigematsu

*With permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

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Press Coverage

"Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son is a lovely stage memoir" - J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail 
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"Empire of the Son extraordinary in its ordinariness" - Patrick Langston, Ottawa Citizen
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"Empire Of The Son makes a strong solo outing" - Glen Sumi, NOW Toronto 
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"Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son is exquisite" - Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
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"Empire of the Son is understated perfection" - Cecilia Lu, VanCity Buzz
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"Grief stripped raw in all its beauty: One man show is a powerful display of emotion" - Erika Thorkelson, Vancouver Sun
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"Empire of the Son: Tetsuro Shigematsu walks in the shadow of his father" - Kelsey Klaseen, Westender
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Theatre preview: Tetsuro Shigematsu’s one-man show explores familial relationships - Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun
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Empire of the Son makes debut at the Cultch -Erin McPhee, North Shore News
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Fall Arts Preview 2015: The shows we can't wait to see - Westender
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Fall arts preview 2015 theatre critics' picks: Local writers take the spotlight on city stages -Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
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Tetsuro Shigematsu: Empire of the Son -John Endo Greenaway, The Bulletin
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Transcending the generational and cultural gap -Nicole Alivojvodic, The Source
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