Fountain/Deaf West Co-Production Draws Actors World Wide
Rehearsals start tomorrow at the Fountain for the world premiere of the thrilling new deaf/hearing version of Cyrano set in a modern city. In this re-imagined new adaptation of the classic “Cyrano de Bergerac” Cyrano is a brilliant deaf poet hopelessly in love with a beautiful hearing woman, Roxy. But she doesn’t understand sign language and instead loves his hearing brother, Chris. Can Cyrano express his love for Roxy with his hands – the source of such deaf pride and shame? Or must he teach Chris to “speak his words” for him, to woo her? ASL becomes the language of love in this modern sign language spin on a classic love story.
Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cyrano is written by Stephen Sachs, directed by Simon Levy, in a co-production between the Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre. It stars Troy Kotsur as Cyrano, Paul Raci as his brother Chris, and Erinn Anova as Roxy. Previews start April 20. It opens April 28 and runs to June 10.
This unique new project has already created a stream of excited buzz — and attracted deaf actors from all over the world. Half of the 12-member Cyrano cast are deaf. Almost all of them are coming to Los Angeles from other cities worldwide — one from as far away as Oslo, Norway. All to be part of this electrifying new production.
Troy Kotsur is arriving from Arizona to tackle the lead role of Cyrano. No stranger to LA audiences, Troy is a veteran Deaf West actor, seen in such award-winning productions as Big River, Pippin, A Streetcar Named Desire and Of Mice and Men. Troy is also seen on TV and is married to actress Deanne Bray (TV’s “Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye“). Later this year, Troy will direct and act in the independent feature film, Deaf Ghost.
Actor Daniel Durant comes to LA from Maryland. Daniel has been deaf since birth. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he grew up in Minnesota. He attended Gallaudet University, majoring in theater. While appearing in Cyrano, Daniel and his girlfriend found an apartment in the San Fernando Valley, near Studio City.
Eddie Buck joins the cast from Pennsylvania. A talented performer who hails from Skippack, PA, Eddie has acted with such schools and theatre companies as National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and The Growing Stage in New Jersey, in productions ranging from Jack and the Beanstalk to Romeo and Juliet to Hamlet.
The farthest traveler is actress Ipek D. Mehlum, who lives in Oslo, Norway. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Ipek moved to the United States at twenty-two to attend Gallaudet University and study acting. Now living and working in Oslo, she is a stage, film and TV actress who also leads workshops in theatre, TV and yoga and has led a theatre project in Uganda and India.