Williams Street Repertory Announces Casting for RING OF FIRE at Raue Center For The Arts

Williams Street Repertory Announces Casting for RING OF FIRE at Raue Center For The Arts

Williams Street Repertory, McHenry County's growing professional theater company, is excited to announce casting for its upcoming production of "Ring of Fire." This show pulled straight from the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash opens on July 6, 2018 at Raue Center For The Arts and runs select dates through August 12, 2018.

"'Ring of Fire' is not just about the famed, Man in Black. It's also about the generations that grew up with his distinct style of music and the generations that still identify with his unique style of rhythm and blues," says Founding Artistic Director Richard Kuranda (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Signature Theatre, Actors Studio, Circle in the Square). "This musical is a part of our collective American story," continues Kuranda, who is also directing the production. "It's a chance for everyone to come together through amazing music and a great night out. Johnny Cash was more than an artist - He was an icon that had sway over the way we look at culture, religion and family life."

"Ring of Fire" is a unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, home and family. More than two dozen classic hits - including "I Walk The Line," "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues" and the title tune - performed by a multi-talented clast, paint a musical portrait of The Man in Black that promises the be a foot-stompin', crowd-pleasin' salute to a unique musical legend!

WSRep's production of "Ring of Fire" features Kent M. Lewis* as Jason. A musician since the age of six, Lewis comes to WSRep after a year of portraying record producers, including Sam Phillips in "Million Dollar Quartet" (Paramount Theatre), Norman Petty in "The Buddy Holly Story" (The Kimmel Center) and Eamon in "Once" (Florida Studio Theatre). A veteran of the first national tours of "Billy Elliot," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and the Las Vegas production of "Mamma Mia," Lewis is originally from Clarendon Hills, Illinois, but now resides in New York City. He is the co-creator of the musical "It Was Always You" and is currently working on "The Great Oom," the story of how yoga came to America.

"Cash is the preacher, the poet, the passenger and the prisoner in all of us," says Lewis. "It's a pleasure to share his testimony in tunes from the fields of Arkansas to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and all along the train tracks of America."

"Ring of Fire" also features Matthias Austin* as Mark. Austin has previously worked with WSRep, with appearances in "Hands on a Hardbody," "Sweeney Todd," "Company" and "The Fantasticks." Austin's other credits include "Side Show," "Sweeney Todd," "How to Succeed in Business," (Porchlight Music Theatre), "All Shook Up," "Big Fish," "A Christmas Carol" (Theatre at the Center) and "Juno" (Timeline Theatre).

Roy Brown returns to WSRep, where he was last seen as Nicely-Nicely in "Guys and Dolls," as Eddie. He also appeared in WSRep's "Plaid Tidings," "Gypsy" and "Hands on a Hardbody." Brown's recent credits also include "Billy Elliot" (Porchlight Music Theatre), "9 to 5" (Firebrand Theatre), "The Most Happy Fella" (Theo Ubique), "Glory Days" (Refuge Theatre Project), "American Idiot" (UAC Theatre) and "Titanic" (Timberlake Playhouse).

Jason David Collins* makes his WSRep debut in "Ring of Fire" in the role of David. His regional credits include "A Christmas Carol," "Peter and the Starcatchers," "Stage Kiss" (Hippodrome Theatre), "The Wizard of Oz," "Les Miserables" (West Virginia Public Theatre), "Cabaret" (Short North Stage) and "August: Osage County" (The Human Race Theatre).

Jenna Fawcett rounds out the cast of "Ring of Fire" in the role of Trenna. Fawcett's recent credits include "Prometheus Bound" (City Lit Theater Company), "Patience" (Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company), "Stone Soup" (Improv Playhouse), "Strangest Things!" (Random Acts) and "A Fabulous 50's Christmas" (Towle Theater).

Catherine Athenson (WSRep's "Guys and Dolls") will fill the role of female understudy. Athenson's recent credits include "Scrooge and the Ghostly Spirits" (Citadel Theatre) and "Hairspray" (Pheasant Run Resort).



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