The play that we created is both whimsical and political, vying for equality across both gender and sexuality. Yet, it isn't preachy, as the medium is infused with near constant comedy, and the universe is, save for the presence of the antagonist, merely adjusted and thriving on this equality. In this way, the universe serves to represent a world, much like our own, to show how simple life could be if we merely exercised equality for all (using classic tropes and romanticized clichés).
Now, when we formulated this production schedule, and set our opening date to February 9, 2018, we didn't see any posts about CYRANO being done by other companies. However, about mid 2017, we got wind of Red Theatre doing an adaptation of it (adapted by Aaron Sawyer). In theirs, they incorporated the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, and added an element of clowning for the storytelling. Additionally, they utilized monitors and sign language, creating a universe easily accessible to the deaf / hard-of-hearing community, integrating it into the story and the storytelling as crucial element (as part of their Access Initiative). When I went to see it, knowing a couple people involved, I was impressed: they went for it, and it paid off. The ending seemed a little abrupt in style and storytelling, as it forced you to intellectualize what was seen on stage rather than engross in the universe as the rest of the play encouraged. For me, this Brechtian end was unnecessary, but I digress. Overall, it was a fun adaptation that took a lot of risks, which mostly paid off.
After their production closed of RED CYRANO, we then learned that folks had auditioned for yet another CYRANO: BOHO's upcoming CYRANO, adapted by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner. This production launches in March, with their opening weekend coinciding with our closing weekend (March 3). This particular adaptation, though, is arguably a more pure adaptation. Mine and Sawyer's are more "inspired by" works, whereas Hollinger and Posner have sought to stay true to the original poetry, while making it more accessible to a modern audience (in terms of language). The purest in me delights in this, as a pure rendition of the play, when done true to intent, can be captivating. I love a good Romantic play.
At first, I was a little miffed that suddenly two more productions were happening right before and after, potentially taking from the audience we expected to have. However, in reflection, all three productions are yielding something completely different. Each one is a different universe, different take on the original story, far different storytelling... and completely worth seeing CYRANO three times in one year.
I'm so excited to have my play produced between Sawyer's and Hollinger/Posner's (and the humor of all of our names linking together isn't lost on me: Aaron Sawyer wrote the first, Michael Dalberg wrote the second, and Aaron Posner and Michael Hollinger wrote the third; clearly, only Aarons and Michaels get to adapt CYRANO now), and I'm so eager to see all the differences between them.