Pull the String
The Teahouse of the August Moon
By John Patrick & Vern Sneider
1953’s The Teahouse of the August Moon is John Patrick’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning adaptation of Vern Sneider’s novel of the same name.
1946! The United States of America’s occupation forces in Okinawa have grand plans to remake Okinawa and its backward natives in America’s image. The Okinawans are not particularly surprised or alarmed by this. As narrator Sakini explains to the audience, Okinawa has been getting invaded and occupied for eight hundred years. If there’s one thing at which the Okinawans excel, it’s being invaded and occupied.
Ambitious Colonel Purdy dispatches newly arrived Captain Fisby to the distant village of Tobiki to transform it into a proper American town. To assist Fisby, Purdy sends along translator Sakini, who hails from Tobiki. While Fisby has failed at everything at which he has ever tried his hand, the army has provided foolproof Plan B to guide him.
Nothing can go wrong. Nothing does. At least from a certain point of view.