Off the Hill series production based on Cyrano de Bergerac runs Jan. 18 – Feb. 17, 2019
(CINCINNATI)—CINCINNATI – The Playhouse’s family-friendly, Off the Hill series tours its second production of the season this January and February to community centers in Greater Cincinnati with CYRANO, a youth-oriented adaptation that’s based on the 1897 classic play Cyrano de Bergerac. The production runs Jan. 19 to Feb. 17, 2019.
“This play has endured more than a century because of its beloved, noble hero and the tragicomedy of the story’s love triangle,” explains Daunielle Rasmussen, director of education and community engagement for the Playhouse. “Its themes of virtue, conviction and the conflict between inner and outer beauty make it ideal for younger audiences. It has clever wordplay, exciting swordplay and a really big nose, all of which will keep kids’ and parents’ attention.”
The Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern company performs the show, which takes place in France in the 1640s during the Thirty Years War. Cyrano believes having a “Mount Everest of a nose” means he’ll never have his love returned by the beautiful Roxane, and so he hides his feelings for her. A handsome soldier named Christian also has feelings for Roxane but battles insecurities about his cleverness. Cyrano selflessly chooses to help Christian woo Roxane with Cyrano’s own clever words, in an effort to ensure Roxane’s happiness.
“As a parent, I am always hopeful that our plays will open the door to deeper conversations about things that concern children that they don’t always have the words to express,” Rasmussen states. “This story can help children give voice to their own internal struggles.”
Rasmussen says that while the full-length version of this play is traditionally told on “a grand scale,” this adaptation simplifies the story into a production that’s a perfect fit for an Off the Hill show.
“Through this condensed version, we can focus on the relationships between Cyrano, Roxane and Christian as they each yearn to be loved. In this way, the story is about so much more than just inner beauty versus outer beauty,” says Rasmussen.
Playhouse Directing Fellow Katie Baskerville, who is directing the production, says she is most interested in exploring the characters more fully by examining their primary flaws:
“They have such pride in their positive attributes, values and convictions; and yet this same pride holds them back from true happiness due to incredibly human doubts, insecurities and misconceptions.”
This amusing and thought-provoking production is recommended for children ages 8 and up.
For the full list of performances and community centers, visit cincyplay.com.
Off the Hill is sponsored by The John C. Griswold Foundation and KeyBank. Seasonal support of education and outreach by The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation and The Charles H. Dater Foundation. The Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company is supported by Jerry and Betsy Shroat.
The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation.
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