Get caught up in a Ring of Fire

"His experiences of family, community and country are warm and familiar." Mark DuMez

The first production of 2015  at the Chemainus Theatre Festival tells the remarkable story of Johnny Cash, sharing songs and stories that span from his upbringing on a rural farm to the hallowed halls of the Grande Ole Opry.

Opening this Friday (Feb. 20) and running until April 11, Ring of Fire: Project Johnny Cash features more than 30 hit songs matched with narrated insights that reveal how Cash went from a life of farming to one of influential fame.

Ring of Fire, conceived by William Meade and created by Richard Maltby Jr., is more than a biography or collection of Cash’s songs, according to a press release from the theatre. His story is told across a mingling of scenes that frame his iconic rowdiness and redemption through his unforgettable music. The result is a sweeping portrayal of American life in the themes of love, faith, family, and resilience through hard times, according to the theatre.

“There is something appealing about Cash the icon — an untamed individual and still a community advocate through prison reform, concept albums and old-time values,” show and Festival artistic director Mark DuMez, said in the press release. “The beauty of Johnny Cash is he let us hear many strands of a growing nation finding its groove. He was a wild gentleman, a rustic poet, a saved sinner and an American music hero with a genre-busting sound that still ‘kicks-it’ today.”

Crooning their way through the lively stories and songs are: Jonas Shandel, Timothy Brummund, Scott Carmichael, Samantha Currie, Andrea Cross, Zachary Stevenson, music director, Kraig Waye, and Mark MacRae.

DuMez says Ring Of Fire: Project Johnny Cash is an intimate show, perfectly suited for an intimate stage like the Chemainus Theatre Festival. The ambiance suits the small-town Southern settings in the musical and draws audiences closely into the moments of a young man falling in love, getting married, dealing with adversity, and finally reaching his golden years.

“You can feel the depth of Cash’s journey, and perhaps a bit of your own”, said DuMez. “His experiences of family, community and country are warm and familiar.”

Tickets are available now for evening and matinee shows by calling the Box Office at 1-800-565-7738 or visiting the website at

Show enhancements are available, including free “talk-backs” with the cast and crew following Wednesday performances, and a special show-themed dinner add-on in the Playbill Dining Room.