Jeanne Workshops Robert Allan Ackerman's New Play "BLOOD" at the Geffen Playhouse

Jeanne Workshops Robert Allan Ackerman's New Play "BLOOD" at the Geffen Playhouse


Cast of BLOOD: Top row – Sab Shimono, Sohee Park, Jeanne Sakata, Peter James Smith, Robert Shampain, Dan Donahue, Ryun Yu. Bottom row – Alan Ariano, Glenne Headly, Sam Sasaki, Jodi Long.

I had the welcome opportunity this week to workshop a new play this week at the Geffen Playhouse, Robert Allan Ackerman’s BLOOD, based on a true story about an HIV-tainted blood scandal in 1980’s Japan and which involved the Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as American drug companies.  A shocking story, and a sobering one, but also a tale about the courage of Japanese hemophiliac citizens who contracted AIDS through infected blood that was given to them by the Ministry and purchased from American sources, and who bravely rose up to confront the government in court and demand an apology, which was eventually granted them.  This marked the first time that Japanese citizens had ever sued the government in a court of law.

Aside from the chance to learn about such a gripping story, it was great to get to work once again with my wonderful Los Angeles HOLD THESE TRUTHS collaborator, Ryun Yu, and such a terrific cast: Glenne Headly, Sohee Park, Sab Shimono, Jodi Long, Dan Donohue, Sam Sasaki, Robert Shampain, Riley Thomas Stewart, Alan Ariano, and Peter James Smith.  Here’s hoping this important story will one day be told on the American stage.  Thank you, Robert Allan Ackerman, for bringing this story to light.

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