Associate Director of Communications & Media Relations
St. Anne's-Belfield School to Perform Cyrano de Bergerac Nov. 6 - 8
Photo courtesy of James Mattise
Charlottesville, VA, Oct. 21, 2015 – With more than 40 students and two faculty actors, St. Anne’s-Belfield School will bring to life Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac on November 6, 7, and 8.
One of the preeminent plays of the nineteenth century, Cyrano de Bergerac is based on a real life character desperately in love with his cousin, Roxane. Unable to express his love based on insecurity over his appearance, specifically his large nose, Cyrano engineers a scheme in which he pens love letters for Christian, the man Roxane professes to love, believing it will allow him to express his own emotions without being discovered.
“Our freshmen study Cyrano de Bergerac in our humanities course,” said Dorene Fisher, theatre arts program coordinator and director of more than 100 productions at the School. “Exposure to the play in several forms, most importantly on the stage as it was intended to be presented, brings a different and profoundly valuable perspective to our students.”
Fisher knew the time was right for the production due to one outstanding young actor, Alfred Bardwell-Evans ’16. One of 10 national finalists in the 2015 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Bardwell-Evans has the kind of rare talent around which Fisher was certain she could mount the play.
“Alfred engages the audience in a way that is unusual," said Fisher. “His understanding of the words he is saying, and more importantly of the story he is telling, is captivating… Alfred is somehow magical on stage."
For Fisher, the real pleasure in each production revolves around the skills she is able to teach her actors. Developing the imagination, building critical thinking skills, enriching cognitive and creative skills, and breaking down socio-economic barriers are just a few of the benefits of theatre work. Life skills such as communication, team building, responsibility, perseverance, and respect for alternative viewpoints are also taught during the course of a production.
“I look forward to the joy, the sense of self-worth, and the huge sense of self-satisfaction my students experience and enjoy when they walk off the stage and recognize the richness of the experience and the gift they have given themselves, the cast members, and their audiences,” said Fisher.
Performances of Cyrano de Bergerac will be presented on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m. in the Randolph Hall Auditorium (2132 Ivy Road). Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students. A dress rehearsal on Thursday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. includes a pay-what-you-will admission fee with proceeds going to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. All performances are open to the general public. Tickets may be purchased online at www.stab.org/fallplay.
St. Anne’s-Belfield School is a co-educational preschool through grade 12 day school of more than 900 students and 120 faculty and staff, with a boarding program in grades nine through twelve. More than 20 countries are represented in the student body, with 38% of families receiving financial aid. More information may be found at www.stab.org.