RIDE THE CYCLONE
McCarter character profiles are provided to inform the curious and/or potential audience members about the characters who inhabit our plays in production. They provide some details about the essence of the major characters in the play and their relationships, as well as a sense of each character’s voice.
The character profiles for Ride the Cyclone do not give away the musical’s plot, nor it’s ending.
The Amazing Karnak. Narrator. A matter-of-fact, mechanical fortune-telling machine with a 1920’s penny-arcade aesthetic. Karnak has a particular, and rather macabre, specialty when it comes to prognostication.
I am the Amazing Karnak. This is not a boast but rather what it says on my legal patent as a precognition machine. I was designed to predict the exact cause, time, and place of someone’s death. A rather morbid function, I grant you; which is precisely why I was set on “family fun mode” when sold to the Wonder Ville traveling fairground…Turns out…being told the place and time of your death in front to your family, with a mouthful of corndog at the fairground, is the very opposite of fun…
Ocean O’Connor Rosenberg, 17. Capricorn: the ambitious nature. Industrious high-school senior, class president, and member of the St. Cassian High School Chamber Choir of Uranium City, Saskatchewan, Canada. Ocean is a driven, super-achieving, competitive, straight-A student, and the most successful girl in town. She posits herself as a good person and a friend to everyone.
…Who’s the best? I mean sure, grades, humanitarian efforts, extracurricular activities, prestigious university, Spiritual mastery of both Judaism and Catholicism—nailed my Confirmation and Bat Mitzvah, in the same week. And I’m not ever bragging about that because it’s against my Buddhist beliefs…I am the best here, by any metric of society I get that…but if that’s how worth is measured, I want no part of it! Look…some of us are left wing, some of us are right wing…but the last time I checked it takes two wings to fly!! We are community! We are Family! We are the World!
Constance Blackwood, 17. Scorpio: the secret nature. Signature catchphrase: “Sorry…” Described by her reputed BFF and socially-bullying choirmate, Ocean, as the “salt of the earth,” Constance is the serially overlooked and undervalued three-time winner of the “nicest girl in homeroom” award, though she is more accurately, and very sincerely, the nicest girl in
town. Her high-school experience has had detrimental effects on her psyche and perspective of Uranium City.
…My mom and dad own the Blackwood Café in town. It’s been in our family since like forever. The Blackwoods have been in Uranium since they opened the mines…my family had pride when it came to that. ‘Til I went to high school and having pride about our town was only like the lamest thing you could ever think to believe. After a while I started feeling kind of crummy about stuff, like ashamed. At the café, I would catch myself looking at my mom thinking, “what a loser, a stupid dead-end loser, in a stupid dead-end town.” My parents were good people and all I could do was think horrible things about them. I really wish I never thought those things…
Noel Gruber, 17. Pisces: sign of passion. An aspiring iconoclast and poet laureate of Uranium, Noel is a member of the choir, the only gay man at Saint Cassian High School, and the most romantic boy in town. He lives a rich fantasy life internally with an outward penchant for all things nihilistic, all while holding down an after-school job at the Taco Bell at the nearest mega-mall to earn the means for a great escape.
I’ve seen the movie the Blue Angel about a billion and one times…If there is something better on this earth than Marlene Dietrich playing Lola Lola (The heartless booze hound harlot) I don’t even what to hear about it…I tried to go as her every year for Halloween—I always chickened out…And I’d go as something like C3PO…but in my heart, I was Lola Lola, dressed up as C3PO…that was always my Halloween costume’s subtext. Mom tells me I’ve got to try to blend in, so I tried really hard to dial it back…I had to…we live in a town where every year on July 11th when Seven Eleven gives out free Slurpees it’s like seriously the major cultural event of the year…I’m not even making a joke right now. It’s like, a Slurpee Woodstock.
I was born in the wrong town, the wrong country, the wrong era!...
Mischa Bachinski, 18. Leo: sign of aggression. Ukrainian-born “bad boy” of the Saint Cassian choir. Adopted out as a teen by his loving Ukrainian birth mother who worked on the Chernobyl clean-up to a Canadian couple who thought they were adopting a two-year old and not a mid-adolescent with facial hair. Mischa is fueled by irradiated masculinity, rage, and commercialized hip hop. Considered the angriest boy in town, Mischa drops his passion-fueled emotions into mad siq hip-hop beats and considers himself the best rapper in all of North Eastern Saskatchewan.
I have no respect for this country! Fact: You want to know what Canada is leading supplier of, to whole world? Two things: Mustard seeds…and Uranium. That’s great for hotdogs, yes…but not so good for Ukraine. So thank you for killing my mother. And for indirectly killing me. I feel the rage, and when I rage, I rap about money in auto-tune. Auto-tune will never die. Hit the beat.
Richard Potts, 17. Gemini: the dual nature. The town dreamer whose multiple creative abilities have been heretofore obscured by a rare degenerative disease that rendered him unable to speak. In the course of his illness, and largely the result of complete indifference from everyone around him, Ricky developed a super-sized imagination, elaborate fantasy life, and truly compelling alter ego.
I guess you could say I’m pretty sexy on another planet! Lo, I’m a rival prophet from the Zolarian Starcluster, supreme leader of those that evolved from cats. There are seven suns on the plant Zolar, so the gravitational pull makes everything harder, longer, wider…
Jane Doe, age unknown. A creepy, haunting person who, despite her Saint Cassian uniform, none of the other choir members appear to know. Everything about her seems a little bit—if not a lot bit—off, including her sharing of her personal “catchphrase”:
Meet Jane Doe. Catchphrase:
When a lioness has children, she stops making love to the lion. The lion gets jealous, sometimes so jealous he eats the children. You think this would upset the lioness. Far from it, they make love again, like the children never existed. I find that idea terrifying.
I’m going to stand a little farther away from you, okay?
VIRGIL & THE UNDERWORLDS
The Band. Virgil the Rat is the bass player and band leader. His bandmates are also rats—literally.