Indiana State University Newsroom

Classic romantic comedy ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ opens July 20

July 7, 2017

The Crossroads Reparatory Theatre will transport you through time with the 19th century classic "Cyrano de Bergerac," opening July 20.

Cyrano shines as master swordsman, poet and man of letters, and yet he is plagued with a large nose that renders him powerless in matters of love. In the midst of living a life of uncompromised adherence to his pride, his ideals and his high code of personal honor, Cyrano collaborates with the young, handsome Christian to become the anonymous poetic voice and soul behind the wooing of his cousin Roxane, whom Cyrano secretly loves.

Director Arthur Feinsod, professor of theater at Indiana State University, has loved this play ever since he first saw a production while a high school student in New York City during the 1960s. Feinsod has now been given the chance to bring this production to life once more as the show's director.

"The title character is courageous and believes in honor, truth, as well as an uncompromising adherence to the highest standards in poetry as a poet and swordsmanship as a soldier," Feinsod said. "My vision is to bring him and the colorful characters of his entourage to full life on the New Theater stage."

"Cyrano de Bergerac" brings to light issues that have endured for hundreds of years and will show how the lead character, Cyrano, is able to overcome them.

"This play is a love story about a man who considers himself ugly and incapable of achieving the woman of his dreams. Most everybody wants to root for an underdog in matters of love and so few of us feel handsome enough or pretty enough," Feinsod said. "So many of us struggle with body image and our sense of worthiness and yet we continue to love and yearn towards something we often feel is outside our grasp; an ideal, a person, a life, an achievement. Cyrano's quest for the impossible, like that of his spiritual ancestor Don Quixote, is one that captivates and endures from generation to generation."

Edmond Rostand, the author, deftly mixes styles, being influenced by the embroidered colorfulness of romanticism as well as the minute detail of naturalism, both of which can weigh down a show if one is not careful. The original production also consisted of almost 50 characters and was five acts long, which, when played in its entirety, would last almost three-and-a-half hours. All of this prompted Feinsod to cut the production down to its essentials.

"I removed many of the characters and those which survived my cutting are being presented by only nine actors. I have shaved the play until what remains is its essential line of action and its most vivid characters, hopefully stripped to their quintessential vividness," Feinsod said. "Cutting a masterpiece this severely is always a challenge, but I do think what we have now flows well and will carry the audience on an exciting journey, with sword fights, love scenes and humorous episodes along the way."

Joining the cast is three Croatian actors from the University of Zagreb's Academy of Dramatic Art.

"We are integrating Croatian actors into our production. I have seen their work in Zagreb, and the three actors who have come to Terre Haute are a talented and well-trained group of performers and whom I think will mesh beautifully with our actors," Feinsod said. "After we close here in Terre Haute, we will be taking our ‘Cyrano' production to Croatia, where we will perform three times in outdoor settings."

Feinsod has a great passion for this production and is excited to share it with the Terre Haute audience.

"I hope they will be moved to laughter and tears and be inspired and uplifted by the story, the language, the acting, and the visual picture, enhanced by an extraordinary team of Crossroads Repertory Theatre designers," he said.

"Cyrano de Bergerac" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on July 20, 21, and 22 and at 4 p.m. on both July 22 and 23 at Indiana State's New Theater, 536 N. 7th St. For more information about this summer's season or to buy tickets, go to or call the box office at 812-237-3333.

-30-Photo: -- Brandon Wentz stars as Cyrano de Bergerac in the Crossroads Repertory Theatre's production of the play opening July 20.

Media contact: Connor Myers, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, or 812-237-3773.