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the ripple, the wave that carried me home

A co-production with Artists Repertory Theatre

Like diving into a pool of water, suspending you with bright humor and healing depth.

October 8 – 30, 2022
On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

Like diving into a glorious pool of water, this play suspends you with its bright humor and healing depth.

When Janice is pressed to return to her hometown and speak at a ceremony honoring her father, she has to reconcile with the childhood she’s tried to distance herself from and forget — one defined by her parents’ political activism and fight for the integration of their local swimming pools. Drawing on history that spans from 1930s segregation to the Rodney King trial and beyond, this deeply moving story explores the joys and challenges of forgiveness, justice, and the weight of one’s family legacy. Written by Tony Award-nominated playwright, Christina Anderson!

“Anderson is a gifted playwright you want to pay attention to. She has the voice of a poet.” –Variety

Two women stand submerged by water. The center looks up and off, while the other is behind her, looking over her shoulder.

Andrea White stars as Helen and Lauren Steele stars as Janice in the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson, a co-production between Portland Center Stage and Artists Repertory Theatre; photo and graphic design by Alec Lugo/Courtesy of Portland Center Stage.

the ripple, the wave that carried me home

  • By Christina Anderson
  • Directed by Daniel J. Bryant
Preview image for From the Director: Daniel J. Bryant

From the Director: Daniel J. Bryant

The director of the ripple, the wave that carried me home discusses the complicated history of Black people's relationship to water, and the way the play "offers a powerful return to the water and takes us on the incredibly personal journey of finding strength, freedom, and joy through forgiveness."

Preview image for Segregation & Swimming Timeline in the United States

Segregation & Swimming Timeline in the United States

The history of swimming pool segregation in America is long and complicated. This feature highlights the major events between 1800 and 2022.

Preview image for Rodney King

Rodney King

Learn about who Rodney King is and the impact this incident sparked in 1991. 

Preview image for Kansas

Kansas

Learn more about the development of the state of Kansas and the origin of Beacon, Kansas. 

Preview image for Diving Deep: How Pool Segregation Sprung a Movement

Diving Deep: How Pool Segregation Sprung a Movement

Since the first public pool was opened in Boston in 1868, there have been strict regulations on who can and cannot share the water.

Preview image for *the ripple, the wave that carried me home* Reading List

the ripple, the wave that carried me home Reading List

Calling all readers! Multnomah County Library put together a reading list inspired by our production of the ripple, the wave that carried me home.

Preview image for October First Thursday Featuring VNPRT & Friends

October First Thursday Featuring VNPRT & Friends

Thu, Oct 6, 5 p.m.  •  FREE

Join us for a special "Libra Edition" of VNPRT & Friends — along with tours of the costume shop! VNPRT will be joined by Noah Simpson on trumpet, Cory Limuaco on drums, Adriana Wagner on trombone, Chibia Ulinwa on violin, Sam Arnold on bass, and James Theory. Don't miss this improvisational music performance that blends hip hop, jazz, RnB, and more!

Preview image for Pre-Show Performance: *Bodies* by Dance Company push/FOLD

Pre-Show Performance: Bodies by Dance Company push/FOLD

Sun, Oct 9, 1 p.m.  •  FREE

Celebrate power in movement with Portland’s premiere contemporary dance company, push/FOLD. In this site-specific performance with audience interaction, we'll dive into Bodies and learn what truly makes our bodies move.

Preview image for Pre-Show Panel Discussion with Black Swimming Initiative

Pre-Show Panel Discussion with Black Swimming Initiative

Sun, Oct 30, 6:30 p.m.  •  FREE

As part of The People's Party: BIPOC Affinity Night for the ripple, the wave that carried me home, join us for a pre-show discussion with Morgan Spriggs and Emily Lightpipe, co-founders of Black Swimming Initiative, joined by Morgan's daughter, Erica Spriggs, and WaterStrong partner Dena Marshall, as they talk about their vision for a world where racism is eliminated from the aquatics and water sports.

Preview image for Post-Show Music Featuring VNPRT

Post-Show Music Featuring VNPRT

Sun, Oct 30, 9 p.m.  •  FREE

As part of the programming for The People's Party: BIPOC Affinity Night, this special after-party will feature a DJ set by VNPRT with a unique mix of classic tracks and future sounds in support of the ripple, the wave that carried me home. Complimentary beer will be provided by Deschutes Brewery.

Preview image for November First Thursday featuring POP FEVER (AAPI Artist Night)

November First Thursday featuring POP FEVER (AAPI Artist Night)

Thu, Nov 3, 5 p.m.  •  FREE

Join us for November First Thursday with POP FEVER, a lineup of all AAPI performers featuring Alana Rich, Rain Ezra, Jai Baby, and Victoria Yabut. There will also be community partner tables featuring makers and creatives from the Portland area — along with a sneak peek of our main stage. Deschutes Brewery will provide complimentary beer!

A group of people stand near each other, masked, and smile/pose for a picture.
Members of the cast and crew of the ripple, the wave that carried me home. Photo by Claudie Jean-Fisher

the ripple, the wave that carried me home

the ripple, the wave that carried me home Written by Christina Anderson

Don Kenneth Mason*

Edwin

Chaves Ravine*

Gayle

Lauren Steele*

Janice

Andrea White*

Helen

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Christina Anderson

Playwright

Daniel J. Bryant

Director

Brittany Vasta

Scenic Designer

Wanda Walden

Costume Designer

Xavier Pierce

Lighting Designer

Evan Duckworth

Sound Designer

Justin Hicks

Composer

David Murakami

Video Designer

Sam Clevenger

Associate Video Designer

Akela Jaffi

Choreographer

Kristen Mun-Van Noy*

Stage Manager

Amanda Vander Hyde*

Assistant Stage Manager & Intimacy Coordinator 

Kamilah Bush

Dramaturg

Melory Mirashrafi

Assistant Dramaturg

Chavez Ravine*

Dance & Movement Captain

Chip Miller & RaChelle Schmidt

Casting

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Assistant Director
Alexandria Hunter (She/Her)

Production Assistant
Haille Lantz

Automation Operator & Deck Crew
Charlie Capps

Wardrobe Swing Dresser
Jenna Cady

Electricians
Roy Joshua Antonio (He/Him), Bennet Berkower, Sophina Flores (She/Her), Abby Jacquin (She/They), Matthew Jones, Steph Landtiser, Dug Martell (He/Him),  Oliver Pemberton, Myke Rodriguez (They/Them), Laurel Jane Vonderau, Connor Ward

(He/Him)

Gabriel is very excited to make his PCS/ART debut! “I have been a longtime fan of its productions and premiere talent.” Gabriel is an actor, educator, and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Stage credits include Martin Luther King Jr. in The Mountaintop, Frederick Douglas in The Agitators, and title roles in Macbeth and Julius Caesar. TV credits include: FBI, EVIL, Prodigal Son, The Deuce, Mysteries of Laura, and recurring parts on ABC’s What Would You Do? He teaches classes in acting, debate, filmmaking, and Shakespeare throughout Manhattan and beyond. M.F.A., Theater: UC San Diego. B.A., Mass Communication: West Texas A&M. mrgabriellawrence.com

Chavez Ravine, Gayle, Dance & Movement Captain
(She/Her)

Chavez is making her return to Portland Center Stage, where she was last seen as Alberta “Pearl” Johnson in Black Pearl Sings! Recent credits include ABCD (Barrington Stage Company) and In the Upper Room (DCPA). Off-Broadway: Cullud Wattah (The Public Theater), Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (The Duke 42nd). Regional: The Winter’s Tale, Comedy of Errors (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (The Arden Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre); My Fair Lady (OSF); Yellowman (Virginia Stage Co.); Daughters of the Mock (Congo Square Theatre); George C. Wolf’s Spunk! (Penobscot Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire (Barrington Stage Company); Virginia State Theatre, Looking Glass Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop. Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Lead in Drama (Congo Square Theatre), Drammy Award for Best Lead (Portland Center Stage), CTG Henry Award nomination, Best Actor in an Ensemble nomination. Film/TV: Barbershop II, Death of a President (Toronto International Film Festival Award), Sleepwalk with Me, April Fools, Tapioca, Southern Cross (Cannes Film Festival Award), Prison Break.

(She/Her)

Lauren is a multidisciplinary artist from Portland, Oregon. She graduated with a degree in theater from Southern Methodist University in 2019, with awards for excellence in performance and playwriting. Since then, you may have seen her in Bella: An American Tall Tale at Portland Playhouse, or in the first two installments of the Queen’s Girl in Africa trilogy at Clackamas Repertory Theatre, for which she won a Drammy for Best Solo Performance. Lauren recently released two new singles, titled “Nighttime Friends” and “Give Yourself Grace,” and began working on a full-length album with the local label People Music. You may have seen her performing under her musical stage name, Lo Steele, at the Waterfront Blues Festival and the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival. Lauren is honored to be joining PCS for the second time this season, after playing Susan in a very joyful run of tick, tick … BOOM! Check her out on social media to keep up with her music and upcoming performances. @losteele

Andrea is a two-time Drammy Award-winner for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a director and theater educator. She has been seen in many of Portland’s stage productions, including Portland Playhouse’s Barbecue as Lilly Ann, Gem of the Ocean as Black Mary, and Radio Golf as Mame; Artist Repertory’s Nickel and Dimed and Two Sisters and a Piano as Sophia; Portland Actors Ensemble’s Pericles Wet as Dyonisis; and Profile Theater’s American Daughter as Judith and Susan in The Secretaries. Andrea is currently an instructor at the Actors Conservatory, in their Conservatory program.

Christina Anderson, Playwright

Christina is a playwright, TV writer, educator, and creative. Her plays have appeared at Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, KCRep, and other theaters in the United States and Canada. Awards and honors include a 2020 United States Artists Fellowship, MacDowell Fellowship, Lilly Awards’ Harper Lee Prize, Herb Alpert Award nomination, Barrymore nomination, and a New Dramatists Residency. Her work has appeared multiple times on the annual Kilroys’ List, an industry survey of excellent new works by female, trans, and non-binary playwrights. She is also the winner of the Lucille Lortel Fellowship. Christina’s plays include: How to Catch Creation; the ripple, the wave that carried me home; Man in Love; pen/man/ship; The Ashes Under Gait City; and Blacktop Sky. She taught playwriting at Wesleyan University, Rutgers University, SUNY Purchase College, and served as the interim head of playwriting at Brown University. Christina recently worked as a television staff writer on Edie Falco’s CBS drama Tommy. She’s currently producing an EP of instrumental hip hop music and working on her first TV pilot, The Only Isaac. christinaandersonwriter.com

Daniel is beyond excited to be directing at Portland Center Stage and Artists Repertory Theatre for the first time. Most recent directing credits include the world premiere production of ABCD at Barrington Stage Company, What To Send Up When It Goes Down (Congo Square Theatre), How to Catch Creation (Geva Theater), and Feeding Beatrice (St. Louis Rep). Previously serving as associate producer/director of community programs at Baltimore Center Stage under the leadership of artistic directors Kwame Kweih-Armah and Hana Sharif, Daniel designed BCS's Mobile Unit program, producing and directing Antigone, Twelfth Night, and Endgame, as well as directing A Wonder In My Soul for the main stage. Daniel is also an ensemble member and former artistic director of Congo Square Theatre in Chicago, where he directed/produced What I Learned in Paris, Brothers of the Dust (2012 ATCA New Play Award, BAA for Best Play), The Fall of Heaven, and King Hedly II (BTAA for Best Ensemble, Best Director). Daniel is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA, and AEA.

Brittany Vasta, Scenic Designer
(She/Her)

Brittany is a Brooklyn-based scenic designer for live performance. Recent NYC work includes Fucking A (Fordham); Cardboard Piano (The Juilliard School); Octet (Berkeley Rep Theatre), Rinse, Repeat (Signature Theatre); Life Sucks (Theatre Row), Bill Irwin’s Harlequin & Pantalone (NY City Center), Happy Birthday Wanda June (The Duke), I thought I would die but I didn’t (The Tank), Sehnsucht (JACK). Regional work includes Redwood (Portland Center Stage); Welcome to Fear City (KCRep); August: Osage County (Resident Ensemble Players, University of Delaware); My Name is Asher Lev (Portland Stage Company); Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). Recent Associate Design: Chicken and Biscuits (Broadway, Circle in the Square); The Green (Lincoln Center public art installation); The Lifespan of a Fact (Broadway, Studio 54); Fairview (Soho Rep). Drama Desk nomination for set design of Octet. M.F.A., NYU. USA 829. brittanyvasta.com

Wanda Walden, Costume Designer
(She/Her)

Portland Center Stage: Gem of the Ocean, School Girls, Or; The African Mean Girls Play at PCS. Artist Repertory Theatre: The Children Indecent, Skeleton Crew, An Octoroon, It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, We are Proud to Present. Portland Playhouse: Chicken & Biscuits, Bella, Barbecue, Pipeline, Crowns, The Wolves, How I Learned What I Learned. Portland Opera: Beatrice, Central Park Five. Passin Art Theater: A Song for Coretta, Neat, Two Trains Running, Black Nativity, The Gospel of Loving Kindness, Smoldering Fires. Oregon Children's Theater: Last Stop on Market Street, The Journal of Ben Uchida, In this Corner, Cassius Clay. Vanport Mosaic: Panther, Martha Bakes, Soul'd, Simmer Squash, Left Hook.

Xavier Pierce, Lighting Designer

Professional credits include: Public Theatre (NYC), Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago, IL), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland), Guthrie Theatre (Minneapolis, MN), McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ), Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT), Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (MO), Seattle Repertory Theatre and Intiman Theatre (WA), Arena Stage and Fords Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Baltimore Center Stage (MD), California Shakespeare Theatre (Orinda), Cincinatti Playhouse (OH), Indiana Rep (Indianapolis), Arden Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), Playmakers Rep (Chapel Hill, NC), Westport Country Playhouse (CT), Asolo Rep (FA), Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota), George Street Playhouse (New Brunswick, NJ), Syracuse Stage (NY), Two River Theatre Company (Red Bank, NJ), Olney Theatre Center (MD), Arizona Theatre Company (Phoenix), Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Triad Stage (Greensboro and Winston Salem, NC), Charlotte Childrens Theatre (NC), Crossroads Theatre (New Brunswick, NJ). Xavier is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, M.F.A. in design, stage and film, and is an adjunct professor at Florida A&M University, his alma mater.

Evan Duckworth, Sound Designer
(He/Him They/Them)

Evan is a multidisciplinary artist hailing from Chicago, Illinois. He started at PCS as the associate sound and video supervisor in July of 2018, earning his first PCS design credit on Crazy Enough in 2019. Between 2018 and 2020, Evan has held it down as the mix engineer for The Color Purple, Crazy Enough, Sense & Sensibility, In the Heights, and the 2020 production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Returning in August 2021 as the sound and video supervisor, he has spent much of his time as a system engineer and an advocate for the treatment and working conditions of his fellow technicians and collaborators. When time allows, he has been known to play the bass, restore classic motorcycles, outfit trucks for forest road shenanigans, and build trailers for extended overland travel. Evan would like to thank his S&V team and his partners for their endless support and for patiently listening to his 2 a.m. work-related brain dumps.

Justin Hicks, Composer

Justin is a Drama Desk-nominated singer, songwriter, and sound artist. He’s worked with notable artists such as Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Meshell Ndegeocello, Hilton Als, Bill T. Jones, Steffani Jemison, Jon As Policewoman, Toshi Reagon, and George Clinton. His work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Public, Baryshnikov Art Center, the steirischer herbst festival (Graz, AT), and in exhibitions and permanent collections at The Albertinum Museum (Dresden, DE), CCa Berlin, The Zimmerlii Museum at Rutgers, and Oakland Museum. Justin was a member of Kara Walker’s 6-8 Months Space and holds a culinary diploma from ICE in New York City.  

David Murakami, Video Designer
(He/Him)

David is a projection designer and filmmaker focused on the union between the cinematic and theatrical. Recent productions include Everest at Dallas Opera, Elektra at Minnesota Opera, Zoot Suit at The Mark Taper Forum, Singin’ in the Rain with McCoy Rigby, Sense and Sensibility at South Coast Repertory, and La Belle et la Bête at SFJAZZ. Other credits include Opera Parallèle's Dead Man Walking, Champion, and Heart of Darkness; Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold and Flight, and musicals aboard Princess Cruises’ flagship Royal-class vessels, along with productions with Opéra de Montréal, San Jose Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera, LA Opera, Presidio Theatre, Skylight Theatre, and Riyadh Season. David also teaches projection design at the University of California, Irvine. davidmurakami.co

Sam Clevenger, Assistant Video Designer
(He/Him)

Sam is an LA-based animator and video artist whose work spans from film to theatrical projection. Recently his work was featured in Rubicon Theatre’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 and East West Players’ Assassins. Sam has also worked with a variety of other shows and companies, including on Princess Cruises; 5-SK1-E-5, Minnesota Opera’s Elektra and Lucia Di Lammermoor, Dallas Opera’s graphic novel opera Everest, Opera Parallèle’s Trouble in Tahiti, and more. Sam's recent work in film includes heading VFX for the comedy series How to Hack Birth Control, and he previously assistant edited on the Emmy- and Peabody-nominated documentary film Survivors. He also builds tiny machines out of cardboard when there's time for that sort of thing.

(She/Her)

Kristen was born and raised on the island of Oahu and has worked as a stage manager in the Portland theater community for the past 11 years. She graduated with a B.F.A. from Southern Oregon University and is proud to return to Portland Center Stage for her 10th season. When she is not stage managing, she works as a fight choreographer and teacher. She has been recognized for her fight choreography four times by the Portland Drammys and is a proud AEA stage manager.

Amanda Vander Hyde, Assistant Stage Manager & Intimacy Coordinator

A graduate of Western Oregon University with a B.F.A in technical production, Amanda Anderson (Vander Hyde) is a freelance stage manager in the Portland theater scene. She works as a production and stage manager for the likes of Oregon Children's Theatre, CoHo Productions, and Artists' Repertory Theatre. This is her second season on the stage management team at Portland Center Stage, having previously been involved with The Great Leap and Rent in the 2021-2022 season. Along with stage managing, she is an intimacy coordinator in the Portland area, having worked on various pieces, including Heathers: The Musical at Linfield University and on various productions at PCS. She wants to thank her partner for putting up with her late hours and constant busyness.

Kamilah Bush, Dramaturg
(She/Her)

Kamilah is a playwright, dramaturg, and educator originally from North Carolina. She holds a B.F.A. in theater education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was an NC teaching fellow. Kamilah has spent several seasons at celebrated regional theaters across the country, including Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC, Asolo Repertory Theater in Sarasota, FL, and Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. Her play Nick & The Prizefighter was a semifinalist in the 2021 Bay Area Playwright’s Festival and won the 2021 Urbanite Theater Modern Works Festival.

Melory Mirashrafi, Associate Dramaturg
(They/She)

Melory is a first-generation Iranian-American theater artist raised in Hillsboro, Oregon. Melory is the artistic and producing associate at Artists Repertory Theatre and Huntington Playwriting Fellows’ co-facilitator at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Massachusetts. Selected directing credits: English (SpeakEasy Stage Co); The God Cluster (Fuse Theatre Ensemble); The Music Man (assistant director, Third Rail Repertory Theatre), Shahmaran (Shaking the Tree Theatre). Selected dramaturgy credits: <<when we write with ashes>> (National Queer Theatre); Layalina (NQT); Our Utopia (Bag&Baggage Productions). Melory’s writing can be found in the Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays and Routledge’s Troubling Traditions: Canonicity, Theatre, and Performance in the US.

National Reviews

Christina Anderson —a 2022 Tony nominee for Best Book of a Musical for Paradise Square —has been named the winner of the 2022 Horton Foote Prize for her play the ripple, the wave that carried me home –Playbill

 "A poignant, transporting, and quietly subversive story of racial justice, political legacy, and family forgiveness." –TheaterMania

“Powerful … brings every period to life with vivid immediacy … Anderson’s enthralling language is peppered with brilliantly evocative turns of phrase.” –Bay Area News Group

“Christina Anderson has written a touchingly humorous and passionate play that explores racial justice, family dynamics, and the importance of forgiveness. She has captured the essence of decades of a family’s search for racial justice using only her sparkling talent, elegant direction, four excellent actors, and a creative stage set.” –Berkeleyside

“Anderson’s brilliant writing shows evidence of a careful hand … expertly telling a story of political and familial turmoil … every vignette of a memory passed is immaculate. The work is deeply empathetic, nuanced and above all, honest.” –The Daily Californian

“In her moving new drama … playwright Christina Anderson gives us what we want — or, more accurately, what we need. A generous and empathetic writer, Anderson allows for triumph amid the tragedy and for growth and understanding amid hostilities and resentments … she even leaves us swimming in the possibility of joy.” –Chad Jones’ Theater Dogs

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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