The Bing Theater, 3400 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Join the Center on Public Diplomacy for a performance of Defining Courage at USC’s Bing Theater to celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Defining Courage is a live docu-theatre experience that explores the legacy of the Nisei soldiers — Americans of Japanese ancestry who served in segregated units during World War II. The Nisei were the most decorated soldiers of the war, and yet their accomplishments are unknown to most. Revisit World War II battlefields in Italy, France, Germany, and Japan and discover the heroics of the Nisei soldiers in this innovative and unforgettable performance.

Narrated and co-created by ABC-7 news anchor David Ono, Defining Courage tells the story of the Nisei through scenic cinematography, historical footage, eyewitness interviews, and live music. The show has played to packed houses in Honolulu, San Francisco, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. “The goal was to create an unforgettable show that combines live music and narration with multimedia storytelling,” said David Ono. “It is the perfect way to keep this important story alive in the most memorable way.”

Defining Courage at USC — the first-ever private performance at any university — is sponsored by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s Stroum Arts and Diplomacy Series in partnership with the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the School of Dramatic Arts, with the support of the Asian Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association, Asian Pacific Alumni Association, and the Provost’s Office.

Defining Courage is presented by Story Boldly, the Japanese American National Museum, and Outside in Theatre. RSVP here to attend. 

The Stroum Arts & Diplomacy Series is supported by a gift from Annenberg alumna, award-winning theater producer, and former U.S. Ambassador, Cynthia Stroum. The event series focuses on the intersection of public diplomacy and the arts, featuring thoughtful discussions on urgent global social issues. Arts and culture are powerful tools for building connections and broadening horizons. Just as the practice of public diplomacy seeks to foster mutual trust and understanding between nations, arts and culture bring people together and create civic discourse for global awareness and action. 

Event Details

  • Buddy Chung
  • Shion Matsuura

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