Actors come together in midst of opening night

Staff Writer Alexandra Lisa goes behind the scenes moments before the first showing.

Nathalie Schickendantz | Staff Writer

Mason Drama Club nose how to shift from a comedy to a tragedy.

January 26 was the opening night of Drama Club’s production of  Cyrano de Bergerac. In 1655 Abbey France, a love triangle ensues between three main characters: Christian de Neuvilette, Roxanne, and Cyrano de Bergerac. The story is about Cyrano, a man desperately in love with Roxanne, but deformed by his abnormal nose. Roxanne is a gorgeous woman and childhood friend of Cyrano, and Christian is a dumb man who has the looks but not the brains.

The play embellishes many puns attacking Cyrano’s nose and then instantly transitions to a devastating romance. Although the piece is set in the 1600’s, its message is timeless. Cyrano comes so close to the love of his life, Roxanne, but dies before he can obtain her. Director Thurman Allen said he reflects to his own high school experience, wishing he could speak like Cyrano and find the girl of his dreams.

“It connects to my own experience in high school, when you see Cyrano being able to live out his dream but still never achieve it, it breaks your heart” Allen said. “It’s that connection to the unattainable (thing) that you let go, but you realize you could’ve had if you had said something.”

The original play stars all men and three women, however, with the adaption chosen it was mostly women. After discovering this version, Allen decided it would be an interesting challenge for the students. On opening night, the nerves were high. Although not under the spotlight, the director has one of the biggest pressures set on him. Allen said he was overwhelmed with happiness as the final product succeeded on stage.

“It was one of those things that you spent all these months working and putting in the time and memorizing the lines and you have pictures in your head, but until opening night happens, you don’t know exactly what it’s going to be like,” Allen said. “There’s something magical about that moment where this group of actors actually becomes those characters.”

Senior Anna Kosiarek stars as Roxanne, a complex character in love with the soul, not the looks. Kosiarek confesses it is one of the most interesting plays she has been in with sword fighting, poetry, and emotional scenes. Kosiarek said she will carry on the importance of beauty versus brains throughout her life after embodying Roxanne’s experience.

“I think it’s taught me a lot being in Roxanne’s shoes because it’s so easy to be distracted by what’s pretty, what’s cool, what’s right,” Kosiarek said. “It teaches you to take a step back and really actually pay attention to what you’re looking at.”

Senior star of the play Gerardo Contreras spent 20 hours per week practicing lines and sword fighting. Contreras said it’s all about timing and pacing when memorizing Cyrano’s lengthy monologues.

“I picture where I am in the scene and it corresponds to the lines,” Contreras said. “I have a set amount of pacing I do, so I get to a position and I know what line I’m saying because I’ve conditioned my brain to know I’m at this point and I have this line.”

Click on an image below to enlarge and view in slideshow mode.

Click here to read Staff Writer Alekya Raghavan’s story about stage combat from our latest printed edition.

Photos and video by Alexandra Lisa.

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