CYRANO DE BERGERAC Comes to Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Performances run September 5 – 24, 2023.

By: Aug. 29, 2023
CYRANO DE BERGERAC Comes to Kansas City Repertory Theatre
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Kansas City Repertory Theatre opens its 60th Anniversary 2023-24 season with the timeless passionate tour-de-force, Cyrano de Bergerac, written by Edmond Rostand, freely adapted by Martin Crimp and directed by Associate Artistic Director Nelson T. Eusebio III. Performances run September 5 through 24, 2023, at Spencer Theatre. 

Through spoken word, contemporary poetry and raw physicality, Cyrano de Bergerac seduces in rap and rhymes, using linguistic brilliance to help another man win the heart of his one true love.

Associate Artistic Director Nelson T. Eusebio III (he/him/his) stated, “I am thrilled to be directing this fresh adaptation of Rostand’s classic story of swashbuckling action, hilarious characters, and heartbreaking romance. Cyrano has been on my ‘bucket list’ of plays to direct and I am so excited to share my vision for this classic in a new version by Martin Crimp featuring an incredible cast, contemporary design, and language that will make you swoon.” He continued, “KCRep audiences will be in for a treat getting to experience this fresh take on a classic. There are so many firsts on this show: Crimp’s freely adapted script being produced for the first time by a U.S. theatre. The first Asian American Cyrano in a major regional theatre production. The first Asian American director of a Cyrano in the U.S regional theatre - ever. This is a show that is not only rarely done but has never been done like this before.”

Kansas City Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Stuart Carden (he/him/his) stated, “With this sexy and fun new version of Cyrano we are thrilled to continue our World Classic Series with Associate Artistic Director Nelson Eusebio III’s signature theatrical remix of style, culture, humor, and the classics. With delicious wordplay, outrageous fights, ridiculous clowning, and throbbing hearts at the center of this prose and verse adaptation, and a production stacked with a stunning group of artists  -- you don’t want to miss this seductive, raucous, and fun night at the theatre at KCRep.”

James Chen (Cyrano de Bergerac/As Cast) KCRep: debut. New York: Off-Broadway. Regional: Chautauqua Theater Company, The Guthrie Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company. TV: “Law & Order: SVU” (CSU Detective Adrian Sung, two seasons), “Walking Dead”, “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS: LA,” “The Blacklist, “and “Running Wilde,” “Adult Swim” (pilot). FILM: The Amazing Spiderman, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Labor Day, and We Need to Talk About Kevin. Audio Books: Prayer of the Dragon and Chinese Yankee ( Writer/Filmmaker: The Swap (short, Kingston Film Festival and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival). Chen was born and raised in NYC and is of Chinese descent, trained in classical piano and martial arts. Education: BFA, University of Pennsylvania; MFA in Acting, Yale School of Drama (Dexter Wood Luke Memorial Prize). AEA Member

Ito Aghayere (Roxane) KCRep: debut. Broadway: Junk (Ayad Akhtar); Bernhardt/Hamlet (Theresa Rebeck). Off- Broadway: Mlima’s Tale (The Public); Familiar (Playwrights Horizons); The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre); Three Days To See (Transport Group/NYTW); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Classic Theatre of Harlem); The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth (Classic Stage Company). New York: The Obeah Symphony (Billie Holiday Theater). Regional: Vanya, Sonya, Masha and Spike (Vermont Stage). Awards: Off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Award nomination for her role in Familiar. TV/FILM: “Star Trek Picard,” “Carol's Second Act,” “The Blacklist,” “Instinct,” “Master of None,” “Elementary,” Fear The Night (Neil LaBute, Director), Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh, Director). Education: BA, Duke University; MFA, Columbia University. IG: @itoaghayere. AEA Member

KHALIF J. GILLETT (Lignière/Montfleury/As Cast) (he/they) KCRep: A Christmas Carol, Welcome to Freedom Summer. Bernhardt/Hamlet (Unicorn Theatre); Master Harold...and the Boys, Dracula: Song of Love and Death, King Lear (Kansas City Actors Theatre); Secret Soldiers (The Coterie); Much Ado About Nothing (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival). @khvlif

Jimmy Kieffer (De Guiche/As Cast) (he/him/his) KCRep: Twelfth Night. Off-Broadway: Alf in Peter and the Starcatcher (New World Stages); Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol (Canal Park Playhouse). Regional: Clown in The 39 Steps (Repertory Theatre St. Louis); Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Maurice in Ever After, Ben Davis in Nick’s Flamingo Grill (Alliance Theatre); Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Pittsburgh Public Theater); Ed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Repertory Theatre St. Louis and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Luther Billis in South Pacific (Guthrie Theater); Squash in Victor/Victoria (Theatre Under the Stars); Brian in Avenue Q (Arkansas Repertory Theatre); Charles Dickens/John Allan in The Completely Fictional-Utterly True-Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe, Bob Acres in The Rivals (Baltimore Center Stage); Amadeus, Ross in Macbeth (Chautauqua Theatre); Pap Finn in Big River, Frank Lubey in All My Sons, Lane/Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest, Touchstone in As You Like It, Carl in Opus, Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, John Browdie/Sir Mulberry Hawk in Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory Company). Film/TV: Ocean’s Eight, Ricki and the Flash, A Place Apart, Criminal Minds, among others. Education: MFA in Acting, UNC Chapel Hill. AEA Member 

Christopher Rivas (Christian) KCRep: debut. New York: The Real James Bond… Was Dominican (Geva Theatre Center, HERE). Regional: Seven Spots on the Sun (The Theatre @Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwright Theater, Boston Court Performing Arts Center). Pang! (world premiere, Studio 501 UCLA Little Theater), Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Miami Light Project; OZ 2.5 (South Coast Repertory Theatre for Young Audiences, South Coast Repertory Julianne Argyros Theater); Villon (Padua Playwrights Productions, Odyssey Theatre Los Angeles, world premiere; Death of a Salesman (Stanley, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Segerstrom Stage); The Assassination of Leon Trotsky: A Comedy (Theatre Planners, Odyssey Theatre Los Angeles, world premiere); Rituals: A Bacchanalia 2013 (The Vagrancy Casa 0101, Los Angeles); Helen (Playwrights' Arena, The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa); Songs of Bilitis (Rogue Artists Ensemble, The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa); Camino Real (The Theatre @ Boston Court, California Institute of the Arts, Boston Court Performing Arts Center Pasadena); The Government Inspector (American Southwest Theatre Company, Hershel Zohn Theatre, La Cruces, NM); Langston & Nicolás (Young Nicholás Guillén, Towne Street Theatre, The Stella Adler Theatre Hollywood). TV: Call Me Kat (Fox). Rivas recently released his debut book Brown Enough and podcasts with SiriusXM's Stitcher: Brown Enough and Rubirosa. AEA Member  

Eileen Rivera (Leila Ragjeneau/As Cast) (She/Her/Hers) KCRep: Twelfth Night. Regional: Tiger Style! (TheatreSquared in NW Arkansas and Olney Theatre Center in Maryland); Men on Boats, The White Snake, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Baltimore Center Stage); Vietgone (Studio Theatre, DC); The Hour of Great Mercy (Diversionary, San Diego); The Long Season (Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska); The Comfort Team (Virginia Stage Company). Off-Broadway: Beast (New York Theater Workshop); Dogeaters (The Public); A Fable (Rattlestick); King Lear (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); Sides: The Fear Is Real (Culture Project). TV: Extrapolations on Apple TV+, Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent on NBC. Ms. Rivera is currently in a commercial for Head & Shoulders, co-starring KC’s own Patrick Mahomes. Awards: Eileen’s advocacy group, The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC), received a 2022 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as a Special Obie Citation in 2020 for advocacy in the field of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Education: BFA in Acting, Boston University. AEA Member.   

BRADLEY J. THOMAS (Le Bret/Cyrano U/S/As Cast) KCRep: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Christmas Carol, The Living Room’s Production of Carousel. Local: Secret Garden, Man of La Mancha, Company, H2$ (Music Theatre Heritage); Tomorrow Inshallah, Pontypool, Chainsaw: The Musical, Titus Andronicus, Carousel, The Death of Cupid (The Living Room); Ghosts of Lote Bravo (Unicorn Theatre); The Fishtank, Theatre for Young America, Padgett Productions, Shirley White Theatre, Thin Aire Theatrics, KC Fringe. International: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Great Britain); Ragtime (Germany). Regional: Sweeney Todd, The Exonerated (co-production, Vashon Repertory Theatre and Island Time); Man of La Mancha (Sierra Repertory Theatre); Longview Stageworks, Lakewood Center, Portland Center Stage, Sylvia’s Theatre, Embers Stages.  Education: BA, Theatre Performance and Marketing/Public Relations, Portland State University. Board: Kansas City Fringe Board President. AEA Member

The design and production team for Cyrano de Bergerac includes GIANNA AGOSTINO (Associate Sound Design), JORDAN CANON-KRUIS (Assistant Stage Manager), RACHEL DYER (Stage Manager), NELSON T. EUSEBIO III (Director), JZ CASTING (Casting Agency), ZEB JOHNSON (Assistant Lighting Design), PAUL KIM (Costume Design), Dana Peterson (Production Assistant), GABBY PRICE (Production Assistant), Riw Rakkulchon (Scenic Design), MACKENZIE REPPY (Assistant Director), JON ROBERSTON (Sound Design), Michael Rossmy (Fight Coordinator), Emily Shackelford (Associate Director), and Marie Yokoyama (Lighting Design).  Understudies are ASHLEY BOWEN (US Roxane) and SOLOMON LANGLEY (US Le Bret).


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