Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Brief Reunion Starring Joel de la Fuente, Alexie Gilmore and Scott Shepherd, Opens in NY & L.A. on January 18, 2013

Joel de la Fuente has been having an amazing run of diverse projects. Last fall, de la Fuente was a revelation in his nuanced tour-de-force portrayal of Gordon Hirabayashi, seamlessly transforming into 30+ other characters throughout the course of The Epic Theatre Ensemble’s New York premiere of Jeanne Sakata’s critically-acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (formerly known as Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi), directed by Lisa Rothe, which played an extended run at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York. On his days off from Hold These Truths, he flew to Toronto to shoot episodes of “Hemlock Grove,” a new series exclusively on Netflix, set to air in the Spring.

Joel de la Fuente, Jeanne Sakata and Daniel Dae Kim at Hold These Truths at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York on November 12, 2012.. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente, Jeanne Sakata and Daniel Dae Kim at Hold These Truths at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York on November 12, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

He is currently in Honolulu, on the set of “Hawaii Five-O” working with long time friend and colleague Daniel Dae Kim, who portrays Chin Ho Kelly on the show.

On Friday, January, 18, 2013, Brief Reunion, a psychological thriller by writer/director John Daschbach that de la Fuente stars in with Alexie Gilmore and Scott Shepherd, will have its U.S. theatrical premiere in New York City at the Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St in New York, and in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Noho 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. Brief Reunion recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Gotham International Film Festival.
In Brief Reunion, Joel de la Fuente is featured as Aaron Clark who is living a comfortable life in New England, close to his Ivy League roots. He seems to have it all: financial security, a beautiful wife, and a close-knit circle of friends. But this peaceful existence is shattered by the sudden and unnerving arrival of Teddy (Scott Shepherd), a former classmate and the proverbial snake. Teddy worms back into their lives, “befriending” Aaron’s wife and assistant. He hijacks a 40th birthday surprise and systematically stalks Aaron — at home, at work, and in cyberspace. Bitter over Aaron’s success, Teddy pries into his business affairs, hinting at improprieties through a combination of extortion and revenge. Relentlessly, he pushes toward destruction by unearthing and dissecting the past, until one day Aaron snaps. Now everybody asks, is Aaron the man he appears to be? Or is it true that “Nobody really knows anybody, least of all themselves?” This deep, dark question lies at the heart of human nature, and in Brief Reunion, finds some disturbing and possibly even lethal answers.

The cast also features Francie Swift, Quentin Mare, John Ellison Conlee, Kristy Hasen, Raven Pierson, Faith Catlin and John Griesemer.

Lia: How were you cast for this project?
Joel: I went to college with both John Daschbach, the writer/director, and Scott Shepherd, who plays Teddy. I hadn’t spoken to John in probably fifteen years when one day I got a phone call out of the blue: “Hey! Wanna be in my movie?”

Lia: When did you shoot it?
Joel: We shot in over a three week period during the summer of 2010.

Lia: How long did you take to shoot it?
Joel: It was, I think, an 18 day shoot.

Lia: Had you ever worked with the any of the cast or crew before?
Joel: In addition to John D. and Scott, John Ellison Conlee, who plays Gavin, is one of my best friends and favorite actors. Getting to work with John was an amazing treat.

Q&A’s following the 7:10pm show on Friday 1/18, Saturday, 1/19 and Sunday, 1/20.
Friday: Director -John Daschbach, Director of Photography – Joe Foley, Producer -Ben Silberfarb, Composer – Michael Shaieb, Actor – John E. Conlee
Saturday: Director -John Daschbach, Director of Photography – Joe Foley, Producer – Ben Silberfarb, Composer – Michael Shaieb
Sunday: Director -John Daschbach, Lead Actor – Joel de la Fuente, Director of Photography – Joe Foley

BRIEF REUNION Opens Friday January 18th
Theater Three 1:00 2:55 5:15 7:10 9:35
34 West 13th Street,New York, New York 10011
p: 212-255-2243f:
buy tickets

Most recently, Joel de la Fuente appeared onstage playing Vershinin in The Three Sisters, directed by Brian Mertes at the Chautauqua Theatre Conservatory. On screen, de la Fuente stars in the upcoming film, Forgetting the Girl, which took home Audience Award honors at the Soho International Film Festival. Selected New York theatrical credits include: Ivanov in Ivanov (Mint Theater/NAATCO, Jonathan Bank, dir.); The Downtown Plays (Tribeca Theater Festival, John Rando, dir.); Claudio in Beatrice and Benedict with the New York Philharmonic (conducted by Sir Colin Davis); The Square (Lisa Petersen, dir.); America Dreaming (Michael Mayer, dir.); Valentine in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (NYSF, Adrian Hall, dir.). In 2005, Joel de la Fuente served as the Artistic Associate of the National Asian American Theater Company. In addition to Ivanov, he has also appeared with NAATCO in the world premiere of Cowboy v. Samurai; Air Raid;Fuente Ovejuna (David Herskovitz, dir.); and as Iago in Othello (also directed by Jonathan Bank). Other theatrical credits include: Ariel in The Tempest (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Florizel in The Winter’s Tale (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Darko Tresjnak, dir.); Chay Yew’s Wonderland (La Jolla Playhouse, Lisa Petersen, dir.); Liu Mengmei in the Peter Sellars’ production of The Peony Pavilion which performed in Vienna, Rome, Paris, and London’s Barbican Centre with original music composed by Tan Dun. On television, de la Fuente has spent ten seasons appearing as TARU technician Ruben Morales in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” He was a series regular on the Fox drama, “Space: Above & Beyond;” and has had recurring roles on: “E.R.;” “High Incident;” and the Sidney Lumet series, “100 Centre Street.” Additional film credits include: Personal Velocity (Sundance Jury Prize Winner, Best Film); The Adjustment Bureau; The Happening; Heights; Return to Paradise; From Other Worlds. As a writer, de la Fuente’s essay on his experiences as an Asian American actor is published in Pyong Gap Min’s “Struggle for Ethnic Identity,” and he is a co-writer of “Life Document 2: Identity” with Ayad Akthar, which won the Columbia Students Award for Best Film in 2002. Joel de la Fuente is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at N.Y.U. @joeldelafuente

Other Hold These Truths Articles:
Hold These Truths Video Feature: Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Star Joel de la Fuente and Director Lisa Rothe
Video: Interview with Lisa Rothe, Director of Critically Acclaimed Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, starring Joel de la Fuente
Video: Q & A with Jeanne Sakata, Award Winning Actress Makes Playwrighting Debut Telling Story of Gordon Hirabayashi with Hold These Truths
Photos and Video: Daniel Dae Kim, Ann Harada, Greg Watanabe and More at Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths starring Joel de la Fuente
Photos: Opening Night with Hold These Truths’ Playwright Jeanne Sakata and Star Joel de la Fuente, a Revelation as Gordon Hirabayashi; Performances Extended through November 25, 2012
Epic Theatre Ensemble Presents New York Premiere of Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths Starring Joel de la Fuente at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y, October 12-November 18, 2012
Remembering Civil Rights Leader Gordon Hirabayashi,1918- 2012
President Obama Names Asian American Civil Rights Hero Gordon Hirabayashi Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
Reading of Jeanne Sakata’s Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi Starring Joel de la Fuente in New York

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Ruy Iskandar and Yuekun Wu Set for Signature Theatre’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad, February 5 – March 17, 2013
Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge Star in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish at South Coast Repertory, January 25 – February 24, 2013
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child; Extended Run Ends December 16, 2012
Photos: World Premiere of Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s BUMBUG The Musical at The Clurman Theatre, December 6-22, 2012
Harlem Nights with Lorey Hayes, Actress, Director and Award-Winning Playwright of Power Play and Massinissa
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2013 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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