The Cedarville University Theatre Department presents “Cyrano De Bergerac” Feb. 4-14 in the DeVries Theatre, complete with romance, sword fighting and one incredibly large nose.
Associate professor of theatre Matt Moore directs the production, which tells the story of “the ideal frenchman” who has fallen in love with Roxane, played by junior Emma Kowatch. Set in France during the 1640’s, “Cyrano De Bergerac” takes place in the height of the Musketeer Era during the Franco-Spanish war.
“Cyrano” has been translated from French into a poetic script featuring rhyming lines and poetic metaphors.
“This play is all about the words,” Moore said.
Cyrano, played by senior David Widder-Varhegyi, is a French soldier who has almost everything going for him. He’s strong, an expert swordsman, smart and incredibly poetic.
However, he has one tragic flaw: his nose is incredibly large. Cyrano is terribly sensitive about his nose – so much so that he is willing to duel anyone who makes fun of it.
Cyrano’s insecurities about his nose are the reason he’s anxious about talking to Roxane. To make matters worse, Roxane has her eye set on a man named Christian, played by senior Drew Poplin. Christian is handsome, but he lacks strength and wit, which makes him the exact opposite of Cyrano. So, the two men decide to combine their strengths to woo Roxane.
Though the play was written more than 200 years ago, Moore has chosen to highlight themes that are applicable to a modern audience. The show deals with idealism, self-consciousness, and the like.
Through the whole play Cyrano’s nose holds him back.
“That is Cyrano’s hamartia: his inability to get over his own self-consciousness,” Widder-Varhegyi said.
Widder-Varhegyi described the “Cyrano” cast as unique, because it includes some of the best actors with some actors that have had little to no experience.
Widder-Varhegyi said Moore excels in making sure that the actors thoroughly understand their characters so they can give a good interpretation of them on stage.
“One of the things that (Moore) stresses strongly is playing honestly, simply and realistically,” Widder-Varhegyi said, “because honesty, simplicity and reality is what we live every day. If we can take that and produce that on stage than we will literally produce something that resembles what people go through every day.”
As Cyrano struggles with his inability to make it past his self-consciousness, audience members may be reminded of their own struggles with self doubt. “Cyrano De Bergerac” encourages people not to be bound by their flaws and challenges its audience to consider their ideals.
Cyrano is the ideal Frenchman, except for his nose, while Christian has the ideal physical attributes but lacks strength and wit. Neither man is complete. In fact, it takes both of them to win Roxane’s love.
Both Poplin and Widder-Varhegyi said Moore has created a play that is relatable but entertaining for the audience, and the play has allowed them to grow creatively as actors.
“Working with Matt Moore has been extremely challenging,” Widder-Varhegyi said, “in the sense of I’m going to walk away from this production a better actor because of how good a director he is.”
During rehearsals for the play, Moore gave the cast the opportunity to collaborate and bring new ideas to the production. Though Moore had the final say, many ideas from cast members influenced his decisions.
“The great fun of being a director is collaborating with other people,” Moore said.
Complete with relatable themes, humorous scenes, romantic plots, sword fights and dramatic twists, “Cyrano De Bergerac” is sure to be an entertaining production.
“Cyrano De Bergerac” opens 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, and will run through Valentine’s Day. Purchase tickets at the SSC Information Desk, by phone at 937-776-7787, or online at cedarville.edu/ticketinfo.
Michael Shawn Carbaugh II is a sophomore music composition major and arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. He enjoys all kinds of writing, whether it be with musical notes or descriptive words.