Cyrano de Bergerac Offers Perspective on Looks and Love

Person seating reading a document with other people sittng in the background

Under the direction of New World School of the Arts Dean of Theater, Alan Patrick Kenny, The New World School of the Arts college theatre students present a bold new version of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, freely adapted by Martin Crimp. Dean Kenny explains, “This brand-new adaptation of the classic play is hot off the presses, and we are lucky to be able to present one of the first academic productions of the work.”

“This creative and modern rethinking provides an experiential learning opportunity unlike any other for our students, blurring the lines between classic and contemporary storytelling, traditional dialogue, and verse drama, spoken word and hip hop, as well as learning dialects and behaviors from other cultures.”

Alan Patrick Kenny

This re-imagined reworking of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, by British playwright Martin Crimp, recently premiered to acclaim featuring James McAvoy in the title role. This new version of the masterwork renders the timeless story through spoken word, contemporary poetry, and raw physicality, where Cyrano seduces in raps and rhymes, using his linguistic brilliance to help another man win the heart of his one true love—above all—championing his own unbridled love for words. Crimp’s vibrant colloquialization of Rostand’s stately rhyming couplets breaks the story free from the shackles of stately period acting and diction, and relocates it into the voices of real, recognizable people of the world today. “For our production, we’ve worked to honor Crimp’s intentions and language, with a cornucopia of UK and European dialects that celebrate the rhythms, rhymes, and moments of British humor, in a democratic staging that celebrates a diverse community of players, telling this story not for the posh, privileged few, but instead for the underdogs,” said Kenny.

“This production is a language-based play, so it’s all about not only getting the language and dialect down, but also being able to listen, respond, and stay on beat.” – Kai Ady, Acting Senior (Cyrano).
“It is such a language-heavy play and forces me to really tune in to the rhythm, the speech pattern going on, and what exactly my character is trying to convey.” – Emily Perdomo, Acting Senior (Ragueneau).
In directing the play, Kenny highlights his own understanding of the subject matter to help the young actors explore and internalize their roles while explaining, “I was lucky enough to see James McAvoy perform this Cyrano at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and it was not only a sensational production, but it caused me to see Cyrano’s story (which I previously did not relate to) in a new light. Without the historical baggage and the big nose, we can connect with the deeper humanity of the story and its most enduring questions: Why do we accept the love we think we deserve? Why do we get in our own way in the pursuit of love and belonging? Why are we so caught up in lusting physical perfection? Why do we refuse to see past the nose on our face to see the unconditional love that has been there all along?
Delving into their roles, the student actors offer their insight about the relevance of the play in today’s world, “This story is very relatable; all the characters have something very humanlike in them in which the audience would see themselves. The way the story is written is very modern and the audience will be able to notice that they see the character’s experiences in everyday life.” – Nicole Pagella, Acting Senior (Roxane).
“A lot of people can understand what Cyrano is going through while feeling out of place in this world. The questions of “How do you love someone?” or “How do you feel loved?” are questions that anyone can ask.” – Justin Cook, Acting Senior (Christian).

“Appearances aren’t everything, and to love someone is to love them beyond the surface.”

Kai Ady, Acting Senior (Cyrano).

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theatre and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more three decades.

Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or


October 27; 7:30 PM
October 28; 7:30 PM
October 29; PM; 2 PM
November 3; 7:30 PM
November 4; 7:30 PM
November 5; 2 PM

Louise O. Gerrits Theater
25 NE 2 Street, 8th Floor, Miami

General admission $12 / Students and seniors $5