by Tetsuro Shigematsu

1 hour photo

A moving portrait of one man’s quest to find beauty in the depths of a turbulent century.

Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu (creator of the hit show Empire of the Son), ​1 Hour Photo​ is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during World War II, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War,​ 1 Hour Photo​ is a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

“This 75 minute show is an uplifting and poignant tale of my 93 year old father’s incredible life. The show asks the question: what is a good life? These days aren’t we all asking ourselves that? You will laugh and you will cry—it is a riveting story that will keep you glued to the screen.”

– DONNA YAMAMOTO, vAct Producing Artistic Director

Available as part of the Spring Box. Check out more about The Cultch’s Subscription Boxes here.

Or purchase single tickets:

Solo Party (one viewer)

Bubble (two viewers in a household)

Select your show date and buy single tickets here.

Group Discount:
Purchase 6 livestream tickets for the same performance date to get a 17% discount! You can then watch the show ‘together’ with your family and friends from the comfort of each of your own homes.

MAY 29: 7:30PM
MAY 30: 12PM 

*all showtimes in PDT

Playwright/Performer Tetsuro Shigematsu*
Director Richard Wolfe*
Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima*
Production Manager/TD Adrian Muir
Set Designer Pam Johnson
Lighting Designer Gerald King
Assistant Lighting Designer Harika Xu
Sound Designer/Composer Steve Charles
Video Designer Jamie Nesbitt
Model and Miniature Designer Susan Miyagishima
Costume Designer Laura Fukumoto
Costume Design Mentor Barbara Clayden
Dramaturg Heidi Taylor
Audio Dramaturg Yvonne Gall
Virtual Tour Host June ​Fukumura

vAct Team:
Artistic Producer Donna Yamamoto
General Manager Annie Jang
Associate Producer Susan Miyagishim
Marketing Associate Sally Yoo Jun Lee

*With the generous support of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association 

vAct is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), and engages under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement, professional artists who are members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Filmed in association with Brightlight Pictures

1 Hour Photo ​was developed in dramaturgical collaboration and partnership with Playwrights Theatre Centre.

vAct collaborated with Vancouver based film production company, Brightlight Pictures, to produce this high quality, 75 minute cinematic adaptation of ​1 Hour Photo​ by Tetsuro Shigematsu.

Each performance will be followed by a live talkback on Zoom with Playwright and Performer Tetsuro Shigematsu.

Viewing with Captions will be available for all performances. 

“1 Hour Photo animates an extraordinary life with vivid props and projections…the play is a buffet of sensory textures”


“…Central to it all is Shigematsu himself: stylish with his signature waxed mustache, sleek ponytail, skinny pants and good shoes. He charms us with his storytelling and his playfulness”


“Wrestling with questions of life and death, 1 Hour Photo is most heartfelt in its exploration of Yamamoto’s life. Ultimately, we are all a little better off for his willingness to share it through Shigematsu”


Photos of of Tetsuro Shigematsu by Raymond Shum