By Roshni Gorur of Chantilly High School
Puns, poetry, and battling foes,
Love, letters, and an oversized nose;
Know your place, or you'll be made a fool,
During “Cyrano” at Woodbridge Senior High School.
Written originally in rhyming couplets, Cyrano de Bergerac, penned in French by Edmund Rostand in 1987, relates the complicated love triangle of Cyrano, Roxanne, and Christian. However, this new adaptation by Barry Kornhauser, titled simply “Cyrano” was performed by Woodbrige Senior High School with one more twist: all the genders were reversed. A enduring masterwork with some of the wittiest lines ever written for the stage, Cyrano de Bergerac is a clever and touching story about the power of love, the art of wordplay and the joy of finding what you've always wanted right under your nose.
Performed in an intimate theatre, the entirety of the cast created intricate characters that illuminated the play. From sword fighting across the edge of the stage to passionately declaring allegiance for the Cadets of Gascoyne, each ensemble member fit comfortably into the context of the show and constructed a believable atmosphere.
Without a doubt, Katilyn Rhyne anchored the cast as the titular character, Cyrano. Skillfully sparring with wit as easily as she struck with a sword, Rhyne adapted the originally male part masterfully. Although some portions of the performance lacked energy and quick pacing, Rhyne was always on point with her quick wit and jarring humor. Her visible heartache as she led her true love Roger (Bryson Jenkins) to fall in love with another was honest and played naturally. Jenkins' charm contrasted beautifully with Rhyne's increasing desperation to find both her happiness as well as the happiness of Roger. The third member of the love triangle, Hannah Taylor as Christiane de Neuvillette sparked effective conflict in her preoccupation with love. Taylor pined and swooned and fully embodied the mind of a lovesick woman with no regard for the world around her.
A particularly notable addition to the cast was Rachel Price as Ragueneau, a consistently drunk baker. Price makes her first appearance in a lopsided bakers hat, stumbling drunk, and spouting fear that her latest poetry is going to get her killed. Watching her husband flirt with other women, Price's range of emotion including a caricatured hopelessness and jealousy, was wonderfully timed.
The performance was tied together by the beautiful period costuming and excellent props. Cyrano and Christiane both donned sleek, silver, swords with intricate hilts that fit perfectly into their waist-belts. The set also included comically exaggerated set pieces, such as a gleaming full moon and beer barrels, which effectively emphasized the grandiose nature of the play.
With a twisted plot, sure to please,
Cyrano will blow you away—with just a sneeze;
Give this performance your ears and your eyes,
And you're sure to be pleasantly surprised!