‘The Ripple, The Wave That Carried Me Home’ Receives World Premiere At Berkeley Rep This Week

Playwright Christina Anderson received a Tony nomination for cowriting the book on the racially themed musical “Paradise Square,” which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2019. But when the show was playing here, her name was not attached to the project yet. She came on later as “Paradise Square,” which centered on the Irish and African American communities in lower Manhattan in 1863, just before the Civil War draft riots erupted, was evolving and trying to make a successful run on Broadway.

But plagued by two COVID shutdowns, labor problems and disappointing box office returns, “Paradise Square” never took off, despite the wealth of talented names that had been attached to it, from playwrights Marcus Gardley and Craig Lucas to composer Jason Howland to choreographer Bill T. Jones. It closed in July.

Now Berkeley Rep is premiering a racially themed play that is by Christina Anderson and her alone. The drama centers on a woman who grew up in Kansas City and whose parents led a successful fight to force public pools to admit Black people. But after becoming estranged from her parents and their civil rights battle, she is forced to come to terms with her roots and her legacy.

“The ripple, the wave that carried me home,” commissioned by Berkeley Rep and developed by its Ground Floor program, opened Wednesday night at the company’s Peet’s Theatre and plays through Oct. 16. Tickets are $24-$100. Proof of vaccination is required, and masks must be worn in the theater. Go to https://www.berkeleyrep.org/.

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Copyright © 2022 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.