As stated in his biography, Mako co-founded the East West Players as a way to help Asian-American actors and writers develop and work beyond stereotyping. He and his wife had been scheduled to perform Motty Chon at the theater, but when his medical condition was discovered the theater posted the following:
"East West Players, the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, has cancelled its upcoming production of MOTTY-CHON by Perry Miyake.
East West Players’ Founding Artistic Director Mako, who was cast as one of the leads of the play, has taken ill and will not be able to continue with the production. Mako’s wife S. Hoshi, is also in the play and is leaving to care for him.
“It was a difficult decision to cancel the final production of our historic 40th Anniversary season. We were all excited to see Mako back on East West Players’ stage. Just a few days ago, Mako was determined that the show must go on, but his health is a priority,” said current Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang. “In other situations when actors leave a play, their roles are re-cast. However, Mako and S. are such important members of the East West Players family that, out of respect, we could not continue without them. We are thinking good thoughts for Mako and his family for improved health.”
Mako was East West Players artistic director when the organization was founded in 1965 until he stepped down in 1988. He earned a 1966 Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor in The Sand Pebbles and a 1976 Tony Award nomination his portrayal of the “Reciter” in the Broadway production of PACIFIC OVERTURES by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. MOTTY-CHON would have been Mako’s first performance at East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theater, the organization’s home since 1998.
Mako wishes to thank those who were supporting his return to East West Players. Correspondence to the family can be sent to East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012."
This was retrived from the East West Players website at the following address: http://www.eastwestplayers.org/motty.htm.
For some reason Mako's wife's name was automatically censored so I only put the first initial.
As many fans may know, Mako passed away July 21, 2006. Perhaps if anyone is inclined to do so, a memorial donation could be made to the theater he helped found - furthering Mako's vision to eliminate the need for the theater as it appears he was correct in assessing this need to help Asian American actors and writers would not be satisfied in his lifetime. Or if anyone lives within proximity of the theater and age-approproate material is presented you might consider buying a ticket to a show.
Just a thought.