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Posts Tagged Derek “Duck” Washington

Ivory Doublette and Ruth Younger: Two Harmonizers

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun features three strong female roles, one of which is portrayed by actor Ivory Doublette. Here is Ivory to talk about playing Ruth, the wife of Walter Lee, and her own performance background:


1. What has your relationship been to A Raisin in the Sun prior to getting cast as Ruth in Park Square’s production?

I have never had the privilege (until now!) of performing A Raisin in the Sun so this is extra special for me! When I first read the play in high school, I could not believe how real the characters and story was. My family is from Chicago and my dad was born and raised on the South Side so I felt a special connection with the story after reading this play. It is an honor to bring this story to audiences today.


2. What do you think about Ruth?

I absolutely adore and understand Ruth Younger. Even though I have never been married, I have years of experience watching black men and women love each other. I truly believe Ruth is a peacemaker and lover, but she is willing to fight for all that she loves! Ruth reminds me so much of all three of my grandmothers. They loved their families through hardships and pain. Because of them, I am able to live a life I love!


L to R: Derek “Duck” Washington as Bobo, Darius Dotch as Walter Lee and Ivory Doublette as Ruth
(Photo by Connie Shaver)

3. You have an extensive music background. What made you decide to pursue acting rather than go strictly towards a music focus?

It took me a while to understand that a traditional music education was not for me. I am not a classically trained musician; and because of that, I faced a lot of road blocks when I tried to study music in college. Music has been a large part of my life for my entire life, and I am grateful for the education I received from my mother, grandmother and church. I finally came to understand that it was more important for me to dive into theater training and education because acting was a new addition to my life!


4. How did your family singing group, the SeVy Gospel Quartet, form? 

SeVy started while I was growing up in Anchorage, Alaska. My mom, Robin, who is a choir director, tried to figure out a way to keep her three very talkative daughters occupied so she taught us to sing. At first, it was a one-by-one thing; and then when we were all able to speak, she began teaching my sisters and me to sing in harmony. Once she realized we could quickly pick up songs and, in particular, harmonies to songs, we had to start hiding from her. Otherwise, she was constantly making us sing! I am thankful for that training now.


Tickets and information on A Raisin in the Sun here


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