UATD to perform Ring of Fire in Gulf Shores

UATD to perform Ring of Fire in Gulf Shores

Students at the University continue rehearsals in preparation for their performance of the Johnny Cash-inspired show, “Ring of Fire.” Rotten Tomatoes

Several theatre students at the University recently traveled to Gulf Shores to continue
rehearsals in preparation for their performance of the Johnny 
Cash-inspired show, “Ring of Fire.”

2015 marks the 11th consecutive year that the SummerTide Theatre will make the trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Stacy Alley, the director of SummerTide, said the annual summer trip is an opportunity for the students to gain experience for their professional careers.

This year’s production of “Ring of Fire” is a revue, which is a type of theatrical performance that is a series of sketches or songs, rather than a typical musical that follows a storyline from beginning to end.

While several of Cash’s works will be part of the show, no performer will impersonate Cash himself.

"[The show] is a celebration of Johnny’s life and music,” Alley said.

Alley’s inspiration for choosing “Ring of Fire” originates from her admiration of Cash’s music.

“I’ve always loved Johnny Cash’s music and thought the audiences down here might too. It transcends genres and generations,” Alley said.

Zac Swanner, a sophomore majoring in music education, is playing guitar and drums in the production, and is also singing backup vocals for the group.

“There are almost 30 songs, but they aren’t all full four-minute songs,” Swanner said. “Some are just short parts of a song, while some are full ballads. It’s enough to put together 
about an hour and a half of music.”

Although some of the songs are shorter, SummerTide’s performers still rehearse almost non-stop in the few weeks before the show opens.

Harrison Wallace, the bass and fiddle player for “Ring of Fire,” said the show is not the only thing SummerTide will do during their stay in Gulf Shores.

“The cast and staff will be staying in condos that are outside of Gulf Shores and commuting to the theater daily to teach children’s summer camps and perform the show at night,” Wallace said.

Wallace encourages anyone in the area to come and see the show, whether they are a fan of Johnny Cash, or are unfamiliar with his music. Those who are less-versed in Cash’s music will find the show both entertaining and a valuable educational 
experience, he said.

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