Remembrance, Lives and Trials: The Kamloops Kid

The historical drama Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid will receive two encore performances on Wednesday, November 18 at Toronto’s Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court. Matinee at 1:00 pm and evening performance at 7:00 pm. Duration, approximately one hour.

Tickets are $20 ($18 for seniors, students, and JCCC members) and can be purchased by phoning the JCCC 416-441-2345 or at the door.

Based on the lives of Kanao Inouye (a.k.a. “the Kamloops Kid”), and his sister Martha as they experienced WWII—Kanao as a displaced Canadian serving in the Imperial Japanese Army, and Martha as a law-abiding Canadian forced from her west coast home and into an internment camp in the interior of British Columbia—the story is tricky to tell in a one-hour drama, because it is about a complicated historical period for these children of immigrants caught in a cultural no-man’s land. The limbo between the land of their parents (Japan) and the land of their birth (Canada). Actors Loretta Yu (OMNI Television’s Blood and Water) and Benaldo Yeung, both children of immigrants (albeit in a different era), contributed to the shaping of the script written by Evan Mackay and Karri Yano.

When thinking about the impact of war, on Remembrance Day or any other day, we must consider the suffering and sacrifices of soldiers and of civilians, on both sides of the conflict.

Here, once again, is a nine-minute segment which was broadcast on CBC Radio Kamloops earlier this year, including an interview myself (co-writer and director of Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid), followed by a clip of Canadian veteran Tom Forsyth, who had been held as a prisoner of war in Hong Kong, remembering the man who became known as the Kamloops Kid.

A Play about the Kamloops Kid, Inspired by the true story of Kanao Inouye, “Canada’s war criminal”

INTERROGATION: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid

Inspired by the true story of Kanao Inouye, “Canada’s war criminal”

“Perfectly heart-wrenching” – Mooney on Theatre

“Spectacular performances” – Nikkei Voice

Collidescope Productions in association with the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre presents Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid.

A brother and sister divided by war: he will be tried for treason against Canada; she classified “enemy alien” in Canada. Told through fictionalized letters with archival images from opposite sides of WWII, this intimate look at how loyalty and national identity are shaped, chosen, or forced upon us is inspired by the true story of Kanao Inouye, “Canada’s war criminal”.

Premiered at this summer’s Toronto Fringe Festival, the show will receive two encore performances for one date only, (one week after Remembrance Day), November 18, at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. As the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII this year, Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid links Canadian history with a very personal family story. For years Karri Yano heard whispers about her great-uncle Kanao Inouye, better known as The Kamloops Kid, the notorious interrogator of Canadian POWs, tried first for war crimes as a Japanese interrogator and then for treason against Canada. At the same time, his sister Martha (Yano’s grandmother) and 22,000 other Japanese Canadians were deemed “enemy aliens” by the Canadian government and forcibly evacuated from the west coast to internment camps in BC’s interior.

In 2015, the Canadian government is stripping certain Canadians of their citizenship. What are the limits of citizenship? Realizing the irony that Kanao Inouye had to be recognized as a Canadian in order to be tried for treason, while his family was denied their Canadian citizenship rights, Yano wanted to examine how governments can dictate an individual’s national identity to fatal ends, as well as to explore what drives one to commit war crimes and how far one might go to prove his or her loyalty to a country.

She and playwright-director Evan Mackay (Eat, Poo, Love, Toronto Fringe 2012) team up to create Interrogation, which unravels her family oral history to reveal the making of “Canada’s war criminal” Kanao Inouye, against a backdrop of WWII, Canadian racism and political manipulation.

Collidescope Productions explores the collision of perspectives which happens with increasing frequency as disparate cultures and traditions come into ever-closer contact.

Written by               Karri Yano and Evan Mackay

Directed by              Evan Mackay

Starring                  Loretta Yu and Benaldo Yeung

Stage Manager       Christine Seki

Graphic Designer    Grant Dix

Video Technician    Robert Toomer

Two performances, ONE DATE ONLY:

November 18 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm (running time, approximately 65 minutes)

at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court

Tickets: $20; students, seniors and JCCC members $18

Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid.

Kamloops Kid Historical Drama Remounted for Two Performances on November 18th

Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid has been commissioned by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre for a repeat performance — two shows, one day only!

Wednesday, November 18th, 1:00pm and 7:00pm

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

6 Garamond Court, Toronto, Ontario

On Remembrance Day, we remember those who fought in all wars. We invite you to join us, one week later, to consider the lives of Martha Inouye and her brother Kanao Inouye who lived on opposite sides of World War II.

Tickets available now at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, call 416-441-2345

Or contact

Tickets $20 (tax included)

$18 for Seniors, students, and JCCC members

Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid. Inspired by a true story.

Kamloops Kid, Halfway

Kanao Inouye, a.k.a. “The Kamloops Kid”, born in Kamloops, BC, the son of Japanese immigrants, was considered by many of that generation to be not a whole Canadian. When he was on trial accused of being a minor war criminal, the judge referred to him not as Canadian but as “a guest of the Dominion of Canada”. In Japan, the land of his parents and ancestors, he was not considered Japanese. Everywhere he went, he only halfway fit in. The prisoners who suffered his abuse and the perilous conditions of the Sham Shui Po POW camp in Hong Kong during WWII were only half free when the war ended. Their lives had been shattered, and the veterans who survived and returned to Canada received almost no recognition or compensation for decades. As military leaders advised at the time, those 1,975 soldiers should never have been sent to Hong Kong.

Now we’ve done two of seven performances of our dramatization of his life. As of our Wednesday evening performance Kamloops Kid, Toronto Fringe(7:30 pm) we will be halfway through our run. And today, the final day of our online crowd-funding campaign ‘Interrogation: Lives &Trials of the Kamloops Kid’ on Indiegogo, we’re just past halfway to our goal of $2,000. The show came together very quickly, just two and a half months, and we had to buy projectors and screens, and rent costumes—a big thank you to our outstanding costume designer Kei Yano! Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 7.45.03 AM

Costumes by Kei Yano, photos by Grant Dix

We are grateful for the generous donations we have received so far. If you are able to contribute to our funding campaign we would greatly appreciate it. Please donate here. Thank you.

Our next performance is today’s matinée, 1:00 pm at Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto. Then Wednesday at 7:30 pm, a late show on Friday and matinées on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival! 

Nikkei Voice Covers Kamloops Kid Drama

Nikkei Voice, the media sponsor of our Toronto Fringe play, INTERROGATION: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid, has published a write up following our opening night on Canada Day.

Benaldo Yeung as Kanao Inouye, in
Benaldo Yeung as Kanao Inouye, in “INTERROGATION: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid” (Photo by Grant Dix)

“Yeung and Yu give spectacular performances and can be seen until July 12 in Toronto.”

Read Matthew O’Mara’s complete article here:

Next performance, tonight, Saturday July 4th at 11:00 p.m.


Interrogation…Kamloops Kid: Our First Review, “immensely satisfying”

Angela Sun of Mooney on Theatre has written our first review!

“immensely satisfying”

“With a story that engages important issues like citizenship, identity, colonialism and war, Interrogation is an ambitious, thoughtful production”.

” I was still extremely glad to have seen a show like Interrogation at Fringe. With recent events like the establishment of Bill C-24, I think it is tremendously important for companies like Collidescope to bring a diversity of stories to Canadian theatre canon.”

theatre fans photographing our cast outside the theatre
Our sizable and appreciative audience photographing our cast outside Factory Theatre following our opening night

Tomorrow the Curtain Rises for the Kamloops Kid

INTERROGATION: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid is the product of years of thinking, researching, debating, and inquiring about a family, the Japanese Canadian community, and a tumultuous period in the histories of Canada, Japan, and the world. And yet a mere ten weeks have passed since the conception of this particular show that is going to premiere tomorrow at Factory Theatre Mainspace, at 6:30pm (the first time slot in the Toronto Fringe schedule).

Benaldo Yeung as Kanao Inouye (“the Kamloops Kid”) and Loretta Yu as his older sister Martha Inouye

It is a privilege to have this historical drama presented by such a talented and committed team of actors, crew, and advisors, and to have the project endorsed by the National Association of Japanese Canadians, Nikkei Voice, and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Technical aspects of this mixed-media production (images are projected to clarify or enhance aspects of the story the characters are reluctant to discuss), making it more expensive than other Fringe shows I’ve been involved with. We are grateful for financial support from Marty Kobayashi of HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc., and other generous donations such as those made via our Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.

We would also like to express our appreciation for the professionalism, expertise, and patience of everyone at Fringe Toronto, including staff, techs, and volunteers. It is an amazing institution and they are great people.

Happy Fringe!

News about “Interrogation”, a Play about the Kamloops Kid

Nikkei Voice, the national newspaper for Japanese Canadians, recently interviewed the grandniece of Kanao “the Kamloops Kid” Inouye, Karri Yano who is the co-writer of the new play, Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid.

One important correction to note is that the running time of the play will be approximately 55 minutes (not 15).

Please read the article by following this link: Nikkei Voice Interview 6 2015 Fringe

A couple of clarifications are needed:

  • Kanao Inouye was convicted of treason in a civil court after his earlier conviction in a war crimes trial was overturned because of his Canadian citizenship. (The legalities are complicated, controversial, almost unprecedented, and highly significant.)
  • Both trials were conducted in Hong Kong, where he had served as an interpreter at the POW camp at Sham Shui Po, then under Japanese occupation.

For further clarification, come see “Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid” at Fringe Toronto 2015, July 1 to 12 (see pages 55 and 63 of the Fringe Fringe Toronto 2015 program guide.)

Support the Arts! Please See Our Fundraising Campaign on Indiegogo

Interrogation: Lives &Trials of the Kamloops Kid’ on Indiegogo!

A big thank you to Kenji Ferguson for putting together our online fundraising campaign!

We are aiming to raise $2,000 dollars over the next few weeks to pay for the projectors and screens that will help bring this historical drama to life.

With your support, our show can make a strong impact on audiences at the Toronto Fringe Festival, and hopefully the production will go even beyond Fringe Toronto 2015!

It is amazing how many people have been donating their time, energy and talent to make this show a success. Now, in the first day of our Indiegogo campaign, over ten percent of our fundraising goal has already been achieved.

Please visit the following link, and consider making a contribution:

Thank you!