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Dad is dead. Emma is home. Now there’s a whale.


A clan’s grief for its lost patriarch surreally bends the rules of society and the laws of nature. Long estranged, sharing only haphazard traditions, the family contends over how to honor the difficult dead, an auction gone horribly wrong, a disappearing casket of ashes, a house that won’t stay put, and a suicidal whale. Funny, sexy, incantatory, WHALE'S WAKE is a legend for the ones left living. 

Production Team

Writer, Director: Amy Sass

Assistant Director: Keith C. Davis

Dramaturg: Anthony Clarvoe

Production Management: Cecilia Palmtag

Stage Management: Arashi Cesana

Technical Direction: Dashiell Menard

Producer: Anna Shneiderman


Mikka Bonel       *David Cramer

*Anne Darragh     Keith Davis

*Sharon Huff       Anya Kazimierska


*member of Actor’s Equity Association


Design Team: 

Scenic Design: Erik LaDue

Sound & Music: Laura Inserra, Hussein Sami

Costumes: Abra Berman

Props: Florence McCafferty

Poster Design: Aidan Fraser, Amy Sass

Lighting Design: Daniel Weiermann

"Whale's Wake is one of Ragged Wing’s strongest pieces to date. As a director, Sass has a knack for compelling blocking and movement that gives the production a ton of visual impact."

-Sam Hurwitt

The careful, formulaic family drama explodes into something else as the hapless family dons slick yellow overalls and, armed with various cutting tools, proceeds to metaphorically hack up the massive heap of bloody blubber that is Dad and lover. They literally cut and claw their way into the belly of the beast... This play is all at once realistic and absurd, comic and tragic, highly original and very entertaining. The puppetry is wonderful and well incorporated into the action of the play.
The result is something unique, and well worth seeing."
- Theater Storm


"The play is a powerful and eloquent expression of all the anger, listlessness, odd sensuality, displacement and nihilism of grief — that sense of the ground being ripped out from beneath your feet and not knowing when, where or how you are ever going to land again."

- Mercury News

"Oakland’s Ragged Wing Ensemble is among the best of the “art theatre” category, and Whale's Wake represents some of their best work... Ragged Wing does everything as an ensemble, working for many months to develop pieces together as a group (sometimes, as with Whale's Wake under the leadership of a playwright), incorporating physical theatre (such as circus skills, mime, acrobatics, dance, etc.) and puppetry, and often including meta-commentary on the themes of the script in the form of fantasy or surreal sequences. Whale's Wake is a shining example of the distinctive Ragged Wing style.
- Charles Kreuger
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