Celebrate 40 Years as Performing Duo: Uncle Gunjiro's Girlfriend | NBC Bay Area

Celebrate 40 Years as Performing Duo: Uncle Gunjiro's Girlfriend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The 2016 San Francisco International Arts Festival starting May 19-22 at the South Side Theater in Fort Mason marks the 40 years of being performance partners. Let’s welcome the duo, a pair consisting of the master storyteller Brenda Wong Aoki and Emmy Award Winning Composter Mark Izu. The two present Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend, a true tale of Aoki’s great grand uncle’s interracial marriage with the white daughter of an archdeacon of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. In a dramatic retelling of the uncle’s story in original play with traditional music. 

    The idea of an interracial marriage between the two made such scandalous news that it drew national attention. After their engagement Aoki and Emery were forced to flee to Seattle where they were later married. Centuries later, Aoki is the first nationally recognized Asian Storyteller bringing his family story to life to celebrate 110th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Japantown. 

    Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in 1998. It toured to Los Angeles, New Orleans, Tokyo and represented the U.S. in the Adelaide International Arts Festival in Australia. Each time it is performed, long lost relatives emerge and supply new pieces to the family genealogy. Says Aoki, “following Uncle Gunjiro’s story has taught me that everything you do matters -- it continues to impact people a hundred years later.”

    Location: South Side Theater, Fort Mason
    (2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94123)

    Dates: May 19-22, 2016

    Times: Thursday, May 19 at 8:30pm
    Saturday, May 21 at 9:00pm
    Sunday, May 22 at 3:30pm

    To purchase tickets, click here.