Fountain actors Troy Kotsur and Paul Raci, director Simon Levy, and playwright Stephen Sachs were at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis last weekend to join local actors there for a reading of Cyrano, the recent smash hit Fountain co-production with Deaf West Theatre. Cyrano was being read as part of Mixed Blood’s Center of the Margins new play festival.
The weather was cloudy in Minneapolis, a chilly 38 degrees. The cast was lead by Kotsur and Raci, with nine local deaf and hearing actors creating the ensemble. Rehearsal time was brief. Director Levy and the cast had to work fast, quickly coordinating the complicated blending of American Sign Language, spoken English, and printed text projected on screens.
Cyrano is an imaginative modern day retelling of the romantic classic Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. In this updated new deaf/hearing version, Cyrano is a brilliant deaf poet in love with a hearing woman who doesn’t know sign language.
There were two public readings of Cyrano at Mixed Blood Theatre over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. Mixed Blood Theatre holds 200 people and both readings were full. Audience response to the play was very enthusiastic.
Artistic Director Jack Reuler and the entire staff at Mixed Blood were wonderful hosts, welcoming the Cyrano company and making sure everything ran smoothly.
The acclaimed Fountain/Deaf West production of Cyrano earned two Ovation Award nominations: Best Lead Actor (Troy Kotsur as Cyrano) and Best New Play (playwright Stephen Sachs). The Ovation Awards will be held Monday, November 12th, in Los Angeles.
Snapshots from Cyrano Reading at Mixed Blood Theatre!