This past weekend, I ventured down to San Diego with my girlfriend to experience one of my father’s plays for the first time. The play is called “THE WAVER” and it is a heartbreaking yet uplifting story about unrelenting optimism (full synopsis with spoilers at the end of this post).
The story features a character with disabilities who maintains a happy spirit as he waves at cars that drive by his group home.
In the version that we got to see in San Diego, all of the cast members in the play had disabilities and the performance was just great. The main actor, Luigi, has Down Syndrome, and he’s been acting at the North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe for about 7-8 years. He was fantastic, and maintained a smile and optimistic spirit that embodied the character my dad was writing about — a character that should be alive in all of us.
The play addresses some serious issues, and tackles regret, mistakes, and living with decisions we thought were good at one time, but turned out to be against the better judgment that experience sometimes offers.
I enjoyed watching this play, and taking part in a theatrical experience that managed to inspire everyone in the audience, and maintained an air of professionalism in a small-town theater. They give back, at the North Park Playwright Festival, and have annual programs for actors with disabilities. They stay involved in that community in a big way.
The co-owner/director of the “The Waver”, Summer Golden, was very touching in her response to the play. They chose it to end their entire festival (four weekends in the month of October) and that is an honor worth holding onto and boasting about — proudly.
The Waver embodied the spirit of the festival, of giving back and including anyone no matter their background, disabilities, or level of skill. The fact that one play, at ten pages, can inspire an entire theatre community, speaks to the power of words.
Congrats, Dad. Oh, here’s the flower they presented to me on your behalf: