The Great Wave

The Great Wave

The Great Wave

By Francis Turnly
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey
Main Season · Roda Theatre
September 12–October 27, 2019
American premiere

Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission

In a Japanese coastal town in 1979, teenage sisters Hanako and Reiko run onto the beach during a tremendous storm on a dare. Hanako is tragically swept out to sea, while Reiko survives—but recalls seeing three mysterious men on the shoreline. The authorities determine that Hanako has drowned, but her mother insists that her missing daughter is still alive.

Spanning over 20 years and the two vastly different countries of Japan and North Korea, The Great Wave is at once a riveting geopolitical thriller and a powerful story of the unshakable bonds between a mother, a daughter, and a sister who refuse to give up hope.

Creative team

Francis Turnly · Playwright
Mark Wing-Davey · Director
Chika Shimizu · Scenic Design
Meg Neville · Costume Design
Lap Chi Chu · Lighting Design
Bray Poor · Original Music and Sound Design
Tara Knight · Video Design
Amy Potozkin · Casting
Jillian Cimini · Casting
Andrew Femenella · Casting
Michael Suenkel · Production Stage Manager
Hsiu-I Chiquita Lu · Assistant Stage Manager
Sarah Rose Leonard · Dramaturg
Sango Tajima · Artistic Consultant
Emi Lirman · Assistant Director
Jake Maize · Assistant Lighting Designer
Anthony Jannuzzi · Assistant Projection Designer / Video Programmer
Lindsay Sair · Wigs and Makeup Design


Julian Cihi · Tetsuo
Yurié Collins · Reiko
Stephen Hu · Kum-Chol
Cindy Im · Jung Sun / Soldier Two
Paul Juhn · Official
Jo Mei · Hanako
Paul Nakauchi · Jiro
Grace Chan Ng · Hana
Sharon Omi · Etsuko
David Shih · Takeshi / Soldier One

Watch now

Official trailer: The Great Wave

Take a look at the American premiere of Francis Turnly’s play, The Great Wave, directed by Mark Wing-Davey.

Behind the scenes: Francis Turnly and Mark Wing-Davey

Playwright Francis Turnly and director Mark Wing-Davey introduce us to the American premiere of The Great Wave.

Listen up

REPISODES: The Berkeley Rep Podcast presents a series of conversations with artists and experts around the shows in Johanna Pfaelzer’s inaugural season. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud to keep up with the whole series.

See photos

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Photos courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre

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