In this retelling of Edmond Rostand's play, "Cyrano de Bergerac," Roxanne is smitten by the superficial charms of a handsome young soldier, Christian, who is new to Paris. When she tells her three friends of her "love" for this dashing fellow, they are eager to give advice on the budding romance. Roxanne is oblivious to the love Cyrano feels for her. While they have been close friends since childhood, she has never considered him in a romantic way. Cyrano and his rival Christian form a strange alliance in order to win Roxanne's heart. Even as their guard unit fights the Spanish attacks, Cyrano tries to protect Christian and write his love letters for him. But who is the real man of Roxanne’s dreams, and will her hasty decision to marry provide a happy ending? A touching story. The addition of female characters as Roxanne’s friends and easy staging make this play ideal for schools to perform.
PLAYWRIGHT JANICE RIDER TALKS ABOUT
“CYRANO AND ROXANNE”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is a compelling play with a great deal of humour, and pathos rolled into it. I recommended that our oldest son, Nathan, read it. Having read it, Nathan requested that I adapt the story for a play of our own, and so it was, that Cyrano and Roxanne came to be. As many of our drama members are female, it made sense to provide Roxanne with good friends to share her romantic struggles with. Nathan himself wound up with the lead male role of Cyrano, playing the part with panache.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
I have two favorite parts. The first is the balcony scene, during the interchange between Cyrano and Roxanne. It is the first time Cyrano actually speaks to Roxanne of his love for her, although she does not know it is him. He is finally able to express what has been unspoken for so very long; therefore, the scene is intensely moving. The second favorite is at Arras, where Christian shares Roxanne’s letter with Cyrano. Christian finds out the truth about Cyrano’s feelings for Roxanne, and the two men recognize that, in spite of their rivalry and the fact that they are two extremely different people, they care deeply for one another. They have become friends.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: With this play, I wanted to make people feel a sense of connection with the characters in the play. I wanted them to experience Cyrano’s sadness, Christian’s frustration, Roxanne’s idealism, and the loyalty of Cyrano and Roxanne’s respective friends. When I write, I like to think that the end result is a deepening of our own humanity.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: My husband, Dave, and our two sons, Nathan and Matthew, are some of my biggest fans. Matthew was, in fact, the one to suggest that I try to publish my plays, since I am writing them on a regular basis. I always request that Nathan and Matthew read my plays, and offer their comments and suggestions. Dave puts up with a van full of theatrical backdrops and costumes on a regular basis, and he has never missed a performance. I shall be forever grateful for the blessing of family.