Cult-favorite Musical Ride the Cyclone takes the stage at the B. Iden Payne Theatre


October 5, 2023

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Ride the Cyclone



OCTOBER 25 – November 5, 2023



Texas Theatre and Dance presents Ride the Cyclone with book, music and lyrics by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell, directed by Jenny Lavery.  In this hilarious, outlandish and cult-favorite musical, the lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short in a freak accident aboard a roller coaster. When they awake in limbo, a mechanical fortune teller invites each to tell a story to win a prize like no other — the chance to return to life. A funny, moving look at what makes a life well-lived. Each musical number in Ride the Cyclone showcases a different musical genre – from glam rock to pop to rap and folk, there’s truly something for everyone! On stage at the B. Iden Payne Theatre October 25 – November 5, 2023.

“At first, Ride the Cyclone’s themes are heavy,” shares director and M.F.A. candidate Jenny Lavery. “But once you get on the ride, the show’s joyful heart shines through as we watch our teenage characters live out their wildest fantasies and fulfill their (after) life’s potential. I grew up next to a rickety Cyclone-esque roller coaster (Western Pennsylvania’s The Blue Streak) and I remember as a kid hearing stories about it being the country’s oldest wooden rollercoaster. Walking up to the structure filled my body with fear…once on the ride though, I felt free. Like the Cyclone characters, I often felt the limiting and sometimes suffocating nature of small town living and spent my youth dreaming of the life I wanted – a life freer and wilder than my circumstances. I invite the audience to embrace our characters as their flawed selves, who were thrown onto a questionable rollercoaster and who are doing the best they can as they navigate their new circumstances. Cyclone shows us that there is beauty in the unexpected and the mundane and in the world and people all around us.”

Jenny Lavery (Director) is a director and educator. Credits include Merrily We Roll Along (The Public Theatre of San Antonio), Roe (ZACH Theatre) and In Sisters We Trust, or My F*cked Up American Girl Doll Play (Texas Theatre and Dance). Lavery holds an Executive Stragegy for Non-Profit Management Certification from the University of Pennsylvania. Lavery is a Stage Directors and Choreographers Society member, Artistic Director of Theatre en Bloc and a M.F.A. in Theatre candidate at The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. She holds a B.F.A. from New York University and an M. Ed. From the University of Massachusetts.

Ride the Cyclone comes to life with a powerful cast, including David Gonima (Mischa Bachinski), Hayden Howe (Jane Doe), Edward Lopez-Jimenez (Ricky Potts), Eli Mendenhall (Noel Gruber), Sereniti Lynn Patterson (Constance Blackwood), Kira Small (The Amazing Karnak), Juliana Smith-Etienne (Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg) and Chloe Whitehead (Talia). In addition, the production features band members (Virgil & The Underworlds) that includes Kevin Hall (drums), Lannie Hilboldt (Virgil/Bass), Hector Moreno (Cello), Ellie Shattles (Piano) and Stevie Trudell (Guitar).

The production team for Ride the Cyclone includes Jocelyn Adair (Assistant Stage Manager), Jonathan Amezcua (Assistant Lighting Designer), Leah Austin (Assistant Scenic Designer), Jeremy Benavides (Associate Choreographer), Tere Guerrero C. (Scenic Designer). Katie Concannon (Costume Designer), Sarah Jean Elliott (Lighting Designer), Jason Lee Huerta (Technical Director), Victoria Ellyse Jefferson (Assistant Technical Director), Jenny Lavery (Director), Yuge Ma (Dramaturg), Mariah Mendoza (Assistant Director), Selena Munguia (Assistant Stage Manager), Jose Salcido (Assistant Stage Manager), Nitsan Scharf (Animator), Ellie Shattles (Music Director), Sydney Sousa (Projection Designer), Alex Titsworth (Sound Designer), Jessica Peña Torres (Choreographer), Kyle Trehern (Assistant Stage Manager), Rylee Vines (Stage Manager), Julia Yelvington (Assistant Scenic Designer) and Xinyue Zhang (Dramaturg).  


For more information about Ride the Cyclone, please visit



October 25-November 5, 2023 – The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents Ride the Cyclone with book, music and lyrics by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell at the B. Iden Payne Theatre (300 E. 23rd St.), located in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building. A map of the campus:

Performance times are October 25 at 7:30 p.m. (PREVIEW), October 26 at 7:30 p.m. (Opening), October 27 and November 1, 3 at 7:30 p.m. and October 29 and November 5 at 2:00 p.m. ($26 adult, $21 UT faculty and staff, $15 student; Preview performances: $10 adult, $5 student) are available for sale at F. Loren Winship Box Office and online at Office locations and hours:



The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance is a world-class educational environment that serves as the ultimate creative incubator for the next generation of artists, thinkers and leaders in theatre and performance.



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