By now you’re probably as burned out on Burning Man as the Burners at la playa. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t stick it out til the end, right? And what better way to spend those last few hours of Burning Man in the Bay than at Dolores Park enjoying a free live performance by the San Francisco Mime Troupe
for its closing shows of "Ripple Effect
The Tony-award winning, SF Mime Troupe closes out it’s 55th season with "Ripple Effect", a musical comedy that catches three unsuspecting, culturally different women in an intersection of beliefs and ideas that reflect tensions present in San Francisco today. A cast of four play multiple characters, and tell the story of three very different women in a quick-change fashion, full of singing and dancing and political critique.
“The inspiration comes from everything. I'm a San Fransican. I grew up here, and I've been here since I was a little bitty kid. So is my wife,” Co-writer and director Michael Gene Sullivan says. “[We’ve been] watching the city become less and less of a consciously political and radical place and more of just a playground for the rich.”
With the City's skyrocketing rents, evictions, and loss of diversity, "Ripple Effect" joins the conversation of the tech boom and the effect it has on the Bay Area creating a revelation for members in different areas of the working class. Sullivan explains that the purpose of the play is to bring awareness to the issues, and shed light on the true problems.
The story unfolds as Deborah Johnson, a San Franciscan native and long-time activist, runs a tour boat in the Bay. By chance the Vietnamese beautician and U.S. refugee Sunny Nguyen, and tech-startup software designer Jeanine Adenauer find themselves on Johnson’s tour. Each woman represents the working class, but none understand that they are all in the same boat (pun intended), until they learn each others’ stories.
The play tours the lives of these three main characters to reveal hopes and dreams — and failures — until the three women see eye to eye and are able to join in solidarity to save the place they call home: San Francisco. Written and directed by Michael Gene Sullivan, Eugenie Chan and Tanya Shaffer, "Ripple Effect" represents the hope and pride that comes with the love for a city. The end goal is for this heart to spread.
“The reason that I wanted to tell this particular story is to differentiate the working class people who are busy blaming each other for their problems, and this corporate mindset which is behind the problems,” Sullivan says. “We have to stop blaming each other, the fellow workers, and ask ourselves, ‘Why are we in this situation in the first place?’”
"Ripple Effect" closing shows are on Sunday Aug. 31 and Monday Sept. 1 at 19th and Dolores Streets at 2 p.m. Free (donation). sfmt.org.