Hilberry Theatre…”Frank Langella’s Cyrano”

The Hilberry Theatre Company welcomes back 1994 alumnus Greg Loftus as guest scenic designer for its presentation of Frank Langella’s Cyrano, which opens January 13, 2011 at 8 p.m. Loftus has taken on the challenge of a long-distance scenic design from his home in Casselberry, Florida. The production is an adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 classic, Cyrano de BergeracFrank Langella’s Cyrano runs in rotating repertory at the Hilberry Theatre with The Cripple of Inishmaan and Summer and Smoke until March 20, 2012. Tickets are $12-$30 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, online at hilberry.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.

Title character Cyrano is a charismatic swordsman-poet with an absurd nose. He hopelessly loves the beautiful Roxane; she, however, loves the handsome but tongue-tied Christian. Chivalrous and selfless, Cyrano sets up an innocent deception with inspired words for Christian to win Roxane. Years later, when Cyrano is near the end of his life, true love triumphs when long-remembered lyrical phrases reveal the secret and Roxane discovers the soul she has always known.

While Frank Langella’s Cyrano maintains the integrity of Rostand’s original story, it is a different script. Loftus says that he honors those differences in his approach to the scenic design.

“Langella’s adaptation is less transparent, more ambiguous. It is romantic, idealized, lyrical and modern. There is a balance between designers being literal and ambiguous. We use realism to lead audiences to an interpretation. We use concept to force audiences to come to their own conclusions. I hope our audiences see deep and human characters in a complex, non-literal world,” Loftus says.

Since graduating, Loftus has taught scenic design and designed scenery for many college theatre programs, professional theatre and dance companies, and designed sets for television and decorations for special events. He has maintained contact with Hilberry faculty and students since his graduation.

“A long-distance guest design is always a challenge, and Cyrano makes me aware of how much more I still have to learn,” Loftus says.

The Hilberry cast members include Dave Toomey (Cyrano), Sara Hymes (Roxane),Topher Payne (Christian), Vanessa Sawson (Margeurite), Christopher Call(Ragueneau), Danielle Cochrane (Lise), Edmund Alyn Jones (Le Bret), Christopher Ellis (De Guiche), Joshua Blake Rippy (Montfleury), Alec Barbour (Valvert), Andrew Papa (Carbon) and Brent Griffith (Priest).  Production team includes Blair Anderson(Director), Michael Peters (Stage Manager), Veronica Zahn (Assistant Stage Manager), Curtis Green (Technical Director), Greg Loftus (Scenic Designer),Rudolph C. Schuepbach (Assistant Scenic Designer), Leazah Behrens (Properties Master), Samuel G. Byers (Sound Designer), Donna Buckley (Costume Designer),Brian Scruggs (Lighting Designer) and Patrick Pozezinski (Publicist).

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