Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME

The critically acclaimed, award-winning play is a moving story about justice, legacy, and one family’s fight to integrate public swimming pools in the 1960s and 70s.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
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People’s Light has released first look photos of the regional premiere of the ripple, the wave that carried me home by playwright and writer Christina Anderson.

The critically acclaimed, award-winning play is a moving story about justice, legacy, and one family’s fight to integrate public swimming pools in the 1960s and 70s.

Directed by Donya K. Washington, the ripple, the wave that carried me home stars local and regional actors Patrese D. McClain, Shauna Miles, Nathan M. Ramsey, and Eunice Woods. The play runs from February 21 to March 24, with 30 performances presented on the Leonard C. Haas Stage, a 340-seat performance venue housed in an 18th-century stone barn.

Berkeley Rep commissioned Tony Award-nominated playwright Christina Anderson to develop the ripple, the wave that carried me home through the theater’s Ground Floor Summer Residency Lab in 2018. The play premiered at Berkeley Rep in 2022 and has since been presented at several theaters across the U.S., including Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, and Portland Center Stage in Oregon.

In 2023, the ripple, the wave that carried me home received the American Theatre Critics Association’s Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, which recognizes an outstanding script that premiered professionally outside New York City.

Anderson’s play takes audiences on a journey through the decades as it explores the idea of political inheritance and what activists sacrifice in pursuit of the greater good. Despite growing up in landlocked Kansas, Janice Collen’s (McClain) childhood is defined by water. Her mother and father, Helen (Woods) and Edwin (Ramsey), are prominent activists in the movement to desegregate local swimming pools. As Janice comes of age and seeks meaning away from her parents’ politics, an unspoken distance grows within the family. By 1992, she has started a new life far from her family in Kansas. When Janice receives a phone call asking her to speak at a ceremony honoring her father, she has to decide whether she’s ready to reckon with her family’s past and her political inheritance.

“People’s Light has always been committed to producing plays that speak directly to the history, heritage, and current concerns of our neighbors,” said Zak Berkman, Producing Artistic Director at People’s Light. “the ripple, the wave that carried me home is exactly that. A personal and political story, the play delves deeply into questions of loyalty and legacy. It’s about one family and our entire country all at the same time.”

The presentation of the ripple, the wave that carried me home at People’s Light is highlighted by a cast of four prolific actors. Actor, creator arts educator, and People’s Light Company Artist Patrese D. McClain returns to take on the lead role, Janice Collen, after previously appearing in the theatre’s 2018 production of Skeleton Crew following her Barrymore Award-winning performance in The Mountaintop. Screen and stage actor Nathan M. Ramsey portrays the Collen family patriarch, Edwin, after previously starring in the Malvern theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. Joining him as Helen Collen is multidisciplinary actor Eunice Woods, whose acting credits include the People’s Light 2022 world premiere production of Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland. Rounding out the cast as Janice Collen’s Aunt Gayle is actor Shauna Miles, who will make her People’s Light debut in this production.

Leading the ripple, the wave that carried me home production team at People’s Light as director is Donya K. Washington. A prolific director and producer, Washington has credits directing numerous productions such as Shutter Sisters at The Old Globe in San Diego, California, and Downstairs at Actor’s Express Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also the Festival Producer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a Board Member of Seven Devils New Play Foundry.

“One of the things I love about Christina Anderson’s plays is that Black people just are – they aren’t about us being Black,” said Washington. “It’s not something we talk about all day and all night. It just is. It’s something that does affect our lives, and yet, we love, we cry, we dance stories that aren’t directly about that. I love that she wants to tell those stories, to illuminate the lives that are lived. The leaders of the marches, after the march is over, go home and fight with their kids, hug their husbands, mow the lawn, cook, all the things that make up a life. Everything is not the struggle - one must breathe and eat and sleep."

Washington leads the production’s creative team, featuring Scenic Designer Sara Ryung Clement, Costume & Wig Designer Jerrilyn Duckworth, Lighting Designer Amina Alexander, Projection & Sound Designer Rasean Davonté Johnson, Projection & Sound Programmer Anna Gruman, and Scenic Assistant Leah Ramillano. Sydney Banks is Assistant Director, and People’s Light Community Programs Associate Nora Gair serves as Intimacy Coordinator. Longtime People’s Light collaborator and Company Artist member Deborah Teller (Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland, Thurgood) rounds out the team as Stage Manager. Casting for the ripple, the wave that carried me home is by JZ Casting.

Before a show, attendees can enjoy scratch cooking and theatrical sensibilities in the theatre’s on-site restaurant, The Fern & Fable. Quality, artistry, and unique experiences are top of mind at the restaurant. Located steps away from the Leonard C. Haas Stage, The Fern & Fable occupies three rooms of a 1700s farmhouse, complete with two working fireplaces and historic quirks. During warmer months, guests dine al fresco among the lush gardens on the People’s Light campus. Reservations can be made through OpenTable here. Learn more by visiting www.thefernandfable.com.

Ticket Information

Preview performances for the ripple, the wave that carried me home are from Wednesday, February 21, through Saturday, February 24. The production opens with a performance on Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m. and runs through Sunday, March 24. Tickets start at $42, including fees. People’s Light also offers a range of ticket discounts, including youth tickets, 50% off Access Nights, 25% off for educators and military, and discounted student and industry tickets. The Access Night dates for the ripple, the wave that carried me home are Friday, February 23, at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

Learn more about available ticket discounts here. To purchase single tickets, visit peopleslight.org or call the box office at 610-644-3500. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call the People’s Light Box Office at 610-644-3500 or email tickets@peopleslight.org

the ripple, the wave that carried me home has an estimated runtime of 95 minutes with no intermission and is recommended for audiences ages 12 or older. Actors, prices, productions, performance dates, and times are subject to change.

Photo Credit: Mark Garvin

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Patrese D. McClain

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Patrese D. McClain

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Patrese D. McClain, Eunice Woods, Shauna Miles

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Eunice Woods, Nathan Ramsay

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Shauna Miles, Eunice Woods, Nathan M. Ramsay

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Patrese D. McClain, Shauna Miles

Photos: First Look At The People's Light Regional Premiere of THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME
Patrese D. McClain




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