A theater thrill: 20 Cent Fiction to perform ‘Ride the Cyclone’

Apr 2, 2024

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Take a thrilling ride on the Cyclone with 20 Cent Fiction, one of two theater companies at UMass Dartmouth, over the April 5 to 7 weekend.

Directed by sophomore Brian Galindo, “Ride the Cyclone,” follows the story of St. Cassian High School chamber choir members who perish when riding the Cyclone at a carnival. 

The Amazing Karnak, a mechanical fortune teller played by junior Tyler Murphy, gives each of the students an opportunity to tell, or sing, their story before they decide which one gets the chance to return to life. 

The musical, written by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell, takes place in an exaggerated version of Uranium City, Saskatchewan in Canada.

Despite the dark premise of the story, it’s “a very silly show,” Galindo said.

He added, “One time someone referred to it as the reverse ‘Cats,’ which I think was a very fun way to put it.”

He described it as an off-Broadway hit that saw some popularity on social media, but still remains pretty much “underground.”

“It has a lot of really stupid, silly moments in it, which is sort of 20 Cent’s whole thing,” Galindo said.

Galindo said throughout his time directing he’s faced his fair share of challenges, but it’s been an overall great experience.

One of the challenges were changes from the original script, which affected casting and acting styles. However, he said he was surprised to see how quickly everyone was able to adapt and capture his vision.

Galindo said hard work is the reigning force behind their success.

“I’m very proud of them,” he added.

Murphy said he had the unique challenge of developing his “robot voice” for the play, which he accomplished through a lot of repetition.

“I wanted to hit each ending consonant of a word really strong and then have a microsecond break before going on to the next word,” he said.

Though he’s the only cast member without a singing role, Murphy said he has enjoyed the music in the play the most. 

Junior Courtney Sullivan, stage manager, said this was one of the easier plays she’s worked on given there are less set transitions. 

“We’ve been able to achieve really cool effects using curtains and lighting rather than having the sets move, which is really good,” Sullivan said. “So there’s more of an emphasis on props and costumes in the show, which is a lot of fun, and makes it a lot simpler.”

She said a “unique” feature to this production is the 16 by 18 foot projection screen, which hangs high above the stage to present flashbacks and different sequences that add another layer to the performance.

In regard to her experience working on the show, Sullivan said, “Everybody has been so sweet. They’ve all been really fun to work with. Some of these guys are new and you can’t even tell honestly.”

See “Ride the Cyclone” at the UMass Dartmouth Auditorium April 5, 6 and 7. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m., while the Sunday show starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for staff and alumni and $5 for students. 

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Event Date: 

Friday, April 5, 2024 (All day)
Saturday, April 6, 2024 (All day)
Sunday, April 7, 2024 (All day)