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Drama Canadian

1 Hour Photo

by (author) Tetsuro Shigematsu

Initial publish date
Dec 2018
Canadian, Japanese, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
    $16.95 USD

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From the award-winning Canadian playwright, performer, and radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu comes 1 Hour Photo, the follow-up to his acclaimed one-man play Empire of the Son, which was nominated for six Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Shigematsu’s outstanding new play, another multifaceted portrayal of a singular figure, tells the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the twentieth century:

"The year is 1977, the place planet Earth, and even though some of you were not yet born, believe me when I say it was very cool time in which to be alive … Some of the things you know and love today were just being introduced. A movie named Star Wars came out. The U.S. Department of Defense launched a series of satellites you know as GPS. 1977 was the year the Apple II went on sale. You wouldn’t have wanted the Apple I. It was made of wood. Seriously! … But for my money, the coolest thing to launch in 1977 was one of the very first digital cameras. It was the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, if you can believe it, but here’s the cool thing: they called it Voyager."

From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River in British Columbia, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during the Second World War, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War, 1 Hour Photo’s Mas Yamamoto is a grand theatrical persona, his life saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

About the author


  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award for Drama
  • Winner, Jessie Richardson Award for Significant Artistic Achievement - Small Theatre

Contributor Notes

Tetsuro Shigematsu is a Canadian playwright, comedian, and radio broadcaster. Originally trained in the fine arts, he found a creative outlet writing for CBC Television’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Then, in 2004, he became the first person of colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Roundup on CBC Radio, for which he co-wrote and co-produced nearly a thousand hours of network programming. He has written and produced more than fifty pieces of radio drama as well as the feature film Yellow Fellas (2007). He is currently a Vanier scholar and Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia. Follow him on Twitter (@tweetsuro) or visit his website,

Editorial Reviews

"Like its predecessor, 1 Hour Photo is both emotionally revealing and formally inventive."
Georgia Straight

"The play’s also a technical and multimedia achievement, building off the experiments that Shigematsu and his production team first tried out during the Empire of the Sonrun. Audiences can expect a barrage of video footage, intricately designed scale models as set pieces, and a combination of live and recorded audio and music."
–Ben Bengtson, North Shore News

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