MTSU Theatre students and faculty are creating one wild ride on the Tucker Theatre stage Nov. 5-8 with a live, and livestreamed, production of “Ride the Cyclone,” and their peers in two College of Media and Entertainment departments are helping them share the tale once again.
The Department of Theatre and Dance took its productions back onstage this fall after the pandemic shut them down midseason last spring. Their “Romeo and Juliet” and “Failure: A Love Story” fall productions enjoyed a wide online and a limited student in-person audience.
Now they’re turning to Canadian writers Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell’s musical “part tragedy, part comedy” tale of a high school choir and its roller-coaster ride gone horribly wrong.
Theatre directing professor Lauren Shouse is at the controls of “Ride the Cyclone,” which will air at http://BroadwayOnDemand.com Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Central and in a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
Livestream tickets are $10 each; MTSU students, faculty and staff can watch free by emailing Alan.Puglisi@mtsu.edu for a promotional code.
Fifty in-person tickets also will be available for Thursday and Friday night’s performances. Seating will be in the Tucker Theatre balcony, and masks and social distancing are mandatory.
“Ride the Cyclone,” which premiered in 2015 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, lets six members of Saskatchewan’s small-town St. Cassian High School chamber choir tell their tales with the help of a carnival’s mechanical fortune-teller.
The group innocently rides the carnival’s malfunctioning roller-coaster, the Cyclone, to their deaths, then, in limbo, learn that the fortune-teller is willing to restore the worthiest one to life.
The show includes adult language and scenarios and is recommended for audience members older than age 13.
MTSU’s “Cyclone” cast members are:
• Junior theatre major Lyndarious Arrington of Antioch, Tennessee, as “Noel.”
• Senior theatre major Amelia Clark of Murfreesboro, who portrays “Jane Doe.”
• Freshman theatre major Christopher Cooper of Fairview, Tennessee, as “Ricky.”
• Senior chemistry and computer science double major Jared Frazier of Spring Hill, Tennessee, who provides the “Voice of Karnak.”
• Freshman theatre major Maranda Mays of Bartlett, Tennessee, who portrays “Karnak.”
• Senior theatre major Hanna Grace Sloan of Murfreesboro as “Constance.”
• Senior theatre major Kaleb Stone of Spring Hill, Tennessee, who portrays “Mischa.”
• Senior theatre major Bri Wood of La Vergne, Tennessee, as “Ocean.”
The complete cast and crew list for “Cyclone” is available at www.mtsu.edu/theatreanddance/programs/RideTheCyclone.php.
The cast and crew have been working since September under strict backstage and onstage guidelines for masking, distancing, sanitation and testing adapted from multiple professional sources, including Actors Equity, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Their peers in Department of Media Arts professor Bob Gordon’s advanced multi-camera TV production course will be inside the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium, capturing and presenting professional-caliber video to a potentially worldwide audience.
Students and faculty from the Department of Recording Industry are providing their audio production expertise to keep the show — and its music — sounding perfect.
For more information about MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts, visit www.mtsu.edu/theatreanddance. For details on the College of Media and Entertainment and its programs, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)