Ride the Cyclone

2011/2012 Season

Ride the Cyclone

About the Show

Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille in association with Acting Up Stage Company
Nov 10 - Dec 3, 2011 | Theatre Passe Muraille

Ride the Cyclone is the newest creation of British Columbia’s Atomic Vaudeville—a group of the country’s most unique and enthralling theatre creators.

A teenage chamber choir from Uranium City, Saskatchewan dies in a roller coaster accident at a traveling fair. Ride the Cyclone is their final recital, where they celebrate their individuality while coming to terms with their untimely demise. This comic assault on your senses is more than a musical, it’s a unique theatrical insight into the angst of a new generation.

Check out the trailer »


  • by Jacob Richmond lyrics and music by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond
    directed by Britt Small and Jacob Richmond
    choreographed and staged by Treena Stubel
  • featuring Rielle Braid, Matthew Coulson, Kelly Hudson, Elliott Loran, Sarah Pelzer, and Kholby Wardell
  • set design Hank Pine and James Insell costume design Ingrid Hansen
    lighting design Michael Franzmann videography Chris Loran
Rielle Braid id="RielleBraid"

Rielle Braid, Ocean Rosenberg top

Previous credits include Blithe Spirit (Edith), and As You Like It (Audrey) with Blue Bridge Repertory, Theatre Calgary’s Much Ado About Nothing (Ensemble) where she was a member of the FUEL company internship program, and Smalltown: A Pick-Up Musical (Kathy) with Theatre SKAM. Rielle also wrote BOYGIRL, which premiered at the Victoria Fringe Festival in 2009. Next up, Rielle is preparing for the Canadian tour of Ride the Cyclone, before moving to Toronto in February 2012.

Matthew Coulson

Matthew Coulson, Misha Bachinsky top

At a young age, Matthew’s love for the arts began while studying ballet at Pacific Dance Centre. He later expanded his training and abilities, graduating from the Canadian College of Performing Arts. Matthew also spent several summers working with the Victoria Shakespeare Society where he developed a love for classical theatre. In April of 2010, Matthew graduated from UVIC, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in theatre.

Kelly Hudson

Kelly Hudson, Constance Blackwood top

Kelly Hudson has been performing with Atomic Vaudeville for the past 5 years and has appeared in over 30 of their cabarets. She is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts. Most recent performances include Bell in The Fantastiks, Conjure Woman in Dark of the Moon, Laurie in Oklahoma, Nicky in Sweet Charity, Dickon in The Secret Garden, and Jill Monroe in the awarding winning mockumentary Tumbling After. In 2009 she was voted Victoria’s Favourite Comedian by the readers of Monday Magazine.

Elliott Loran

Elliott Loran, Ricky Potts top

Since his recent move to Toronto, he has performed for Stage West, Theatre Passe-Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, Mysteriously Yours, and the National Theatre of the World under the representation of Ambition Talent. Notable credits include Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla (Electric Company/Belfry Theatre); As You Like It as Sylvius (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre); Pretty Little Instincts (SNAFU Dance Theatre); and Influence as John Keats (Intrepid Theatre).

Sarah Pelzer

Sarah Jane Pelzer, Jane Doe top

Sarah studied and worked in the theatre for several years in Victoria, BC, but never being satisfied with one thing, she left in August to pursue another passion: singing. She now lives in Toronto where she studies classical voice at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory, acting on the side. She’ll enter her second year in September and pursue this show, her heart of hearts, concurrently. “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” – S. Dali

Kholby Wardell

Kholby Wardell, Noel Gruber top

Kholby graduated from the University of Victoria’s Department of Theatre (The Phoenix Theatre) in 2008. Recent credits include Lance Cooper in 500 Words (Green Thumb Theatre), Hal in Loot (Blue Bridge Theatre), Lawrence in The Andrews Brothers (Cornerstone Dinner Theatre), and Ensemble in Brilliant! (Electric Company/Belfry Theatre). Kholby was nominated for a Victoria critic’s choice award for the role of Phaeton in Metamorphoses (Phoenix Theatre).

Jacob Richmond

Jacob Richmond, Playwright, Director top

Jacob has written several plays including: The Qualities of Zero (Dora Mavor Moore nomination, Montreal MECCA Award), Small Returns (Theatre Passe Muraille), Legoland (SummerWorks Award for Best Text, New York Frigid Festival Favourite Production, Georgia Straight Fringe Favourite Award), and From Canada To Canada (CBC Radio One Award, Best Comedy). He majored in history and performance at Concordia University and studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York. His first book for children will be published this year by Bayeux Arts.

Brooke Maxwell

Brooke Maxwell, Composer, Musical Director top

Brooke Maxwell has studied jazz composition and arranging at Berkley College of Music in Boston, and after paying tuition to various institutions across Canada, eventually graduated with degrees in Literature and Education. He has since been developing an innovative elementary music program at Selkirk Montessori School, playing music in Victoria’s vibrant music scene, and writing music for theatre including the Belfry Theatre, Atomic Vaudeville and Giggling Iguana’s The Cursed Cabaret of Kelowna Day Taylor.

Britt Small

Britt Small, Director, Stage Manager top

Nationally and internationally, Britt has directed Janet Munsil’s Circus Fire and The Ugly Duchess, Jacob Richmond’s The Qualities of Zero, Ride the Cyclone and Legoland, The Fantasticks for Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, numerous new Fringe Festival plays and Firebugs at the William Head prison. Her work as a director has received several local awards as well as a Jessie nomination for My Chernobyl at the Gateway (Vancouver) and the Belfry. Britt studied at the LaMama Director’s Intensive in Italy and has trained in various physical theatre forms. She completed her MFA in Directing at the University of Victoria with a production of Sophocles’ Electra. She is the co-director of company Atomic Vaudeville and plays in the band Slut Revolver.

Treena Stubel

Treena Stubel, Choreographer, Movement Director top

Treena has created and performed new work at numerous festivals in Canada and abroad. Selected choreography credits include: Henry VI, Richard III, Falstaff (Bard On The Beach), The Fantasticks and As You Like It, (Blue Bridge Repertory). Recent appearances: Nemesis in Vanessa (Pacific Opera Victoria), Fay in the award-winning film Near Silence, Courtyard For A Bird (Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival), and Agnes B (Belfry Spark Festival, Suddenly Dance Theatre). She holds an MFA in Lecoq Physical Theatre from LISPA in London, UK.

Hank Pine

Hank Pine, Set Designer top

Hank Pine is a performer and comic book artist who is known for his grandiose musical productions, which often involve giant theatrics. This is his fourth time working with James Insell on Ride the Cyclone, each time re-inventing and honing the set into the glittering beast that slumbers before you now….

James Insell

James Insell, Set Designer top

James Insell is a set designer, puppeteer, costume maker, and all around great guy. He has worked with Atomic Vaudeville many times, and his creations always exceed expectations. The set of Ride the Cyclone captures the optimism of a turn of the century carnival that has fallen to disrepair. A poignant reminder of a bygone era that feels increasingly vital.

Ingrid Hansen

Ingrid Hansen, Costume Designer top

Ingrid directs, choreographs, designs and performs with SNAFU Dance Theatre. Recent SNAFU productions include CHALK, an original piece of physical theatre performed by six of the inmates at William Head Federal Prison; The Ginger Ninjas, directed by Atomic Vaudeville’s Britt Small; Pretty Little Instincts, Victoria’s Critic’s Choice for the 2009 Victoria Fringe; and Little Orange Man, a solo piece blending found-object puppetry with astral travel. Other recent costume designs include The Fantasticks (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre), Animal Farm (William Head on Stage Prison Theatre Company,) and The Shoes (Belfry Theatre Incubator Project). This summer SNAFU is taking Pretty Little Instincts to the Toronto SummerWorks National Series. Ingrid is also developing Kitt and Jane with director Kathleen Greenfield for the Belfry Incubator Project 2012.


**** (out of 4)! The most awe-inspiring, truly entertaining, heart-tugging, toe-tapping musical I’ve seen in years.

— Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star

**** (out of 4)! My love for it is beginning to exceed the bounds of critical propriety.

— J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail

NNNN (out of 5)! An outrageously fun show performed by young artists you’ll be hearing lots about in years to come.

— Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

**** (out of 5)! Take this ride over and over again.

— John Coulbourn, The Toronto Sun

***** (out of 5)! If there is one show to say you “saw it when…,” it’s Ride the Cyclone

— Carly Maga, The Torontoist

Sheer theatrical magic.

— Drew Rowsome, FAB

Riotously funny, always surprising and filled with five shows’ worth of solid ideas.

— Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine

A work of pure genius.

— Peter Birnie, Vancouver Sun

Tight and bright and carries its audience along on a roller-coaster like ride that never lets up in its high level entertainment factor.

— Monica Prendergast, CBC

Imaginative, laugh-out-loud funny and oddly touching.

— Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist