Despite the significant difference in tone and themes, one of my favorite shows I have seen is Ride the Cyclone at the ACT Theatre in Seattle. Ride the Cyclone is a musical comedy about six choir students who die on a roller coaster and are stuck in purgatory to decide which one of them deserves to live. This show is a dream show to work on because of how well they're able to fill a stage with light, sound, little set pieces, and an incredible cast of only seven people. When each kid gets the opportunity to explain why they should come back to life, they get their songs representing each one of their personalities. With that, the rest of the cast members dress up to represent background characters for their imagination. The lights and set changes create the atmosphere of the characters' imagination. I think the best example is in the first picture on the right with the creepy doll girl who doesn't remember who she is, so to create this feeling, the lights almost cut out all the way, and there is only light on her. Simultaneously, the other cast members dress in black and hold props with lights to represent different carnival rides. The music also slows to be more dramatic in representing her wonder in who she was after the accident. The whole show is this way in creating all aspects in TEAM. To make tension, the lights dim, and a spotlight goes on individual characters. Simultaneously, the music cuts out altogether, with emotion, they change up the lighting and music to represent the emotions each character has. They use those same techniques to create atmosphere and meaning in each scene, creating a spectacular piece.
Marcus, J. (n.d.). “Ride the Cyclone”: Theatre Review. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/ride-cyclone-review-951519
Marcus, J. (n.d.). Ride the Cyclone. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from https://thebroadwayblog.com/mcc-theater-ride-the-cyclone/
Krulwich, S. (n.d.). Gus Halper, foreground, at the Lucille Lortel Theater in “Ride the Cyclone,” where members of a school choir compete for one spot in the land of the living after they are killed when the title contraption malfunctions. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/theater/ride-the-cyclone-review.html
Lauren, L. (n.d.). Tiffany Tatreau (Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg) and Karl Hamilton (The Amazing Karnak). https://chicagocritic.com/ride-the-cyclone/