Jul 20, 2015

Shakespeare in the Parks to perform in Cody on Wednesday

A story about a poet cursed with an enormous beak of a nose will be performed in Cody as part of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ free summer series.

The acting troupe will perform Edmund Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Canal Park. In case of rain, the performance will be moved to the Cody Auditorium at 1240 Beck Ave.

Danny Junod and Sarah Dunnavant in 'Cyrano de Bergerac.' Photo courtesy Winslow Studio and Gallery
In the play, poet and guardsman Cyrano de Bergerac believes that no woman can ever love him on account of this enormous nose. To compensate, he has made himself renowned in Paris for his personal bravery and the charm of his verse.

Cyrano's beautiful and wealthy cousin, Roxane, is much sought after. After a spectacular duel with a man who has been annoying her, Cyrano receives an urgent message from Roxanne. He is encouraged to believe she may actually love him. He finds, however, that she imagines herself in love with the handsome Christian de Neuvillette, a newly enlisted brother guardsman.

“Typically what people think of is a guy with a big nose who’s in love with a girl and who sacrifices, but the play is also about betrayal and dirty tricks,” said Si Osborne, director of the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks production. “These are very macho people. It takes place in wartime.”

Though the play is fictional, Cyrano de Bergerac was a real person who was born three years after William Shakespeare died. Both men lived during a volatile period in European history, when countries were formed and torn apart by inseparable political and religious conflict.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” is presented in Cody by the Park County Arts Council and local business sponsors.

In its 43rd season, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is on its largest tour in its history. The summer schedule includes performances throughout Montana, northern Wyoming, eastern Idaho, western North Dakota and eastern Washington. Montana Shakespeare in the Park features 10 professional actors selected from national auditions who tour without technical assistance to bring live theatre to mostly rural communities.

This summer, 47 percent of the communities reached by the troupe have populations of 2,000 or fewer.

“We are thankful to all of our tour coordinators who help us share the gift of Shakespeare with their communities,” said Kevin Asselin, artistic director for the company.

All performances, with the exception of those at Bozeman’s Sweet Pea Festival, are free and open to the public. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early with chairs, blankets and picnics.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of Montana State University’s College of Arts and Architecture.

For more information on the plays and a complete tour schedule, visit www.shakespeareintheparks.org.

The following are some of their scheduled nearby performances:

July 20: Powell, “The Taming of the Shrew” at 6:30 p.m. at Washington Park
July 21: Worland, “The Taming of the Shrew” at 6 p.m. at Sanders Park
July 22: Cody, “Cyrano de Bergerac,” at 6:30 p.m. at Canal Park
July 25: Red Lodge, “The Taming of the Shrew” at 6:30 p.m. at Lions Park

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