The University of Chicago News Office
June 3, 2004

Court Theatre and Redmoon Theater co-produce world premiere adaptation of Cyrano, May 29 - June 27, 2004


Maggie Andersen
Marketing Associate
Redmoon Theater
1438 W. Kinzie
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 850-8440 ext. 116
Bill Massolia
Director of Marketing and Communications
Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-7242

Box Office:
Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago
(773) 753-4472

News and reviews:
“'Cyrano' shuns tradition with panache”
[chicago tribune]
May 31, 2004

“Court, Redmoon collaborate for unorthodox 'Cyrano'”
[chicago tribune]
May 23, 2004

Related events:
Redmoon Theater and Court Theatre present “We’re Talkin’ Classics” symposium series

Related sites:
Court Theatre
Redmoon Theater
Museum of Contemporary Art

Redmoon Theater and Court Theatre, the professional theatre at the University of Chicago, are pleased to co-produce the world premiere of Mickle Maher’s translation of the classic Edmond Rostand play, Cyrano de Bergerac. Presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, these widely acclaimed collaborators will bring Cyrano to life in a refreshingly original way.

Performances of Cyrano run Wednesday to Sunday through June 27, 2004 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are on sale now at the Court Theatre Box Office, (773) 753-4472, and online at

Through puppets and surprising mechanics, vigorous physical performance, and the startling beauty of the play’s lyrical language, Court Theatre and Redmoon Theater tell the romantic, heartwarming and often funny story of the swordsman and poet, Cyrano de Bergerac. Co-directed by Court’s Artistic Director Charles Newell and Redmoon’s Artistic Director Jim Lasko, Cyrano retains the humor and the heart of Edmond Rostand’s theatrical masterpiece, while revealing the plot in an unconventional fashion.

Edmond Rostand’s most popular and enduring work, Cyrano de Bergerac, is poetic romantic drama in verse, set in the reign of Louis XIII. The central character, Cyrano, is a famous swordsman and an aspiring poet-lover. Cursed with a blossoming beak of a nose, Cyrano de Bergerac desperately loves the beautiful Roxane. Believing she will never love him, he agrees to help his rival Christian win her heart. When the original play was written, naturalism was the major movement in literature, but Rostand took up old themes and followed the Romantic tradition of Victor Hugo. When Cyrano de Bergerac was performed, the enthusiasm at the premiere was completely unexpected and the play became an instant hit. Cyrano’s gallantry was seen as the reincarnation of the true Gallic spirit and Rostand became a national hero.

Lasko and Newell rejuvenate this classic love story by taking the audience on a passionate journey through Cyrano’s memories, complete with a dream-like ambiance, non-linear narrative, and gorgeous puppets that represent real-life defenses and characters.

The cast includes Allen Gilmore in the title role of Cyrano. Mr. Gilmore was last seen on Court’s stage in Scapin. Roxane, the object of Cyrano’s affection, will be played by Chicago actress Chaon Cross, who was last seen in Court’s production of The Romance Cycle. Lance Baker, Andrew Burlinson, Laura T. Fisher, Alison Halstead, Vanessa Stalling, and Jay Whitaker round out the talented cast.


Regular Run: May 29-June 27, 2004

Curtain: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Location: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago.
The MCA is handicapped accessible.
The MCA is located near the Howard Red Line and many bus routes.
Convenient and discounted parking available in the MCA Garage.

Tickets: Previews: $26-30
Performances: $35-50

Box Office: The Box Office will be operated from Court Theatre.
5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago
(773) 753-4472

Group Sales: (773) 753-4472 (Diane Osolin)
Senior and student discounts are available.

Half-Price rush seats are available one hour before the performance, subject to availability.


Jim Lasko (Director) As Artistic Director of Redmoon Theater, Jim has created numerous original theater and spectacle pieces ranging from massive public celebrations to formal indoor shows in traditional venues. Galway’s Shadow converted the facade of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art into a giant shadow screen, while his adaptation of Hunchback played at Steppenwolf Theater, Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, and the Detroit Institute of Art. The Annual All Hallow’s Eve Ritual Celebration , which he conceived and directed, attracted 10,000 people to Logan Square for an evening of community spectacle and his adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Seagull played in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, The Steppenwolf Theatre and the sculpture garden at the UCLA campus. His work has been commissioned by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Field Museum, the Pritzker Family, the Zell Family, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events. Jim leads professional training workshops in design and performance and has taught acting and/or mask performance at University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Theater.

Charles Newell (Director) has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 20 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Directorial credits at Court include The Romance Cycle, James Joyce’s "The Dead," Hamlet, Piano, The Invention of Love, The Little Foxes, The Cherry Orchard, Nora, The Misanthrope, and Travesties. Charlie has also directed at the Guthrie Theatre (Resident Director: The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University; he is the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award and is a multiple Jeff Award Recipient/Nominee. He sits on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group and has served on several panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Newell made his directorial debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago this fall with Marc Blitzstein’s Regina.

Mickle Maher (Translator) Director, actor, playwright and co-founder of Theater Oobleck, Mickle has worked in Chicago for most of the last sixteen years, and has acted in or directed productions from Seattle to South Africa. His plays/texts have been produced by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Links Hall, the St. Louis Museum of Contemporary Art (via Midnight Productions), Audacity Productions (Austin), Andy’s Summer Playhouse in New Hampshire, Gallery 37, and Redmoon Theater (in the Steppenwolf studio and Public Theater of NYC). Two of his plays, An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening and The Hunchback Variations are published by Hope and Nonthings, and a children’s book, Master Stitchum and the Moon, was published last November by Bollix Books.

Stephanie Nelson (Scenic Design) has designed sets for Redmoon Theater’s Unbinding Isaac (Jeff Citation) and Salao , and has served as co-director with Ann Boyd on two performances (2001 Winter Pageant and 1999 Hallow’s Eve Fire Installation ). Additional scenic design credits include Richard Maxwell’s Henry IV part 1, Boxing 2000 and Caveman in New York, and the touring Dutch production of Barmhartige Samaritanen, Steppenwolf Theater’s No Place Like Home , World Set Free and The Water Engine, A Red Orchid Theater’s The Physicists , The Persecution of Arnold Petch , and The Cut (1999 Jeff Design Award), Seannachai’s Marked Tree (2000 After Dark Design Award), and Tosca with CCTD. Stephanie has also designed props for Richard Foreman’s Bad Boy Nietzsche , as well as recently co-designing with Lara Furniss the permanent Design for Living exhibit at the Ten Chimneys Foundation in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.

Tatjana Radisic (Costume Design) graduated in Belgrade from the College of Fine and Applied Arts in 1995 and from Faculty of Applied Arts in 1999. She is a member of the Association of Applied Arts in Serbia and Costume Society of America. She has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and USA. Received numerous professional awards. Recent costume design credits include Redmoon Theater, 500 Clown, American Theater Company, Apple Tree Theater, Opera Theatre of Highland Park, City Lit Theater, Creede Repertory Theatre Company in Colorado.

John Culbert (Lighting Design) recently designed scenery for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Regina and Court Theatre’s Guys and Dolls. He received a Joseph Jefferson Award for his lighting design for Court’s production of The Triumph of Love. He has also received Jeff nominations for Mirror of the Invisible World at the Goodman Theatre and Fair Lady at a Game of Poem Cards, Serious Money, Candida, Electra, The Misanthrope, and The Little Foxes at Court Theatre. Recent designs include Court Theatre’s The Romance Cycle, Hamlet, Piano, The Learned Ladies, The Cherry Orchard, An Ideal Husband, and La Bete; Northlight Theatre’s Sky Girls ; the Goodman Theatre’s Trojan Women, Boy Gets Girl, As You Like It, The Ties that Bind, and Pirate’s Lullaby; the Lookingglass Theatre production of S/M and the About Face Theatre production of Eleven Rooms of Proust. He designed lighting for Akhnaten and Resurrection at Boston Lyric Opera and Death of a Salesman for Singapore Repertory. He has designed productions for the Cleveland Orchestra, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Playhouse 91, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Colorado Opera Festival, Baton Rouge Opera, and Southern Repertory. Other projects include the lighting design for the Chicago Park District’s Buckingham Fountain and Living Together, an exhibit at the Field Museum. John serves as the dean of The Theatre School of DePaul University.

Andre J. Pluess & Ben Sussman (Composers/Sound Design) have designed 15 plays at Court Theatre, most recently The Romance Cycle. Design and composition credits include projects for Lookingglass Theatre (artistic associates), Victory Gardens (resident designers), About Face (associate artists), the Goodman, Steppenwolf and many other Chicago theatres. Broadway credits include I Am My Own Wife and Metamorphoses. They have received five Joseph Jefferson Citations, a Jeff Award, an After-Dark Award, L.A. Ovation and Drama Critics Circle Awards and a Lortel nomination for music and sound. Upcoming projects include Pericles for the Washington D.C. Shakespeare Festival, Secret in the Wings at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the McCarter Theatre, The Day Emily Married, a new play by Horton Foote for Primary Stages in New York, Hard Times at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, 1984 for Lookingglass, The Romance of Magno Rubio at Victory Gardens, Winesburg, Ohio for About Face, and Intimate Apparel at Steppenwolf. Andre is teaching Advanced Sound Design at Northwestern University.

Shoshana Utchenik (Puppet Design) Shoshana received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2000. She has worked with Theater Oobleck, Prop Thtr, and executed the monthly Cucaracha Cabaret of experimental performance in 2003. Independent puppetry works include The Penny Jar, which debuted at the Rhino Festival in 2002. She teaches visual art and puppetry with SAIC, Gallery 37, and the Hyde Park Art Center, among others. Shoshana was awarded a Jeff Citation for her set co-design for Redmoon’s Hunchback in 2001. She is also the recipient of a Community Arts Assistance Program Grant 2002 and the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in New Performance Forms 2004.

David Christopher "Big" Krause (Artistic Engineer) relocated to Chicago in 2001 from North Carolina, where he attended the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking and the North Carolina State University College of Mechanical Engineering. He is proud to be the Artistic Engineer for Redmoon Theater for whom he has engineered, among other shows, the Drum Tree , Salao’s boat hoisting "bridge", the set design for 2002’s Winter Pageant, and Redmoon’s automata bikes. He designed the stage for Frank Maugeri’s wildly popular and award winning Potatoes. He is also currently developing his own television show, Yard Sailing.

CYRANO is generously sponsored by the Boeing Corporation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and the Jim Henson Foundation.

Court Theatre, the professional theatre in residence at the University of Chicago, is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. For 50 years, Court Theatre has been driven by its mission to celebrate the immutable power of classic theatre. In its passionate pursuit of this vision, Court Theatre has become nationally acclaimed for artistic excellence and vibrant stagings of the classics.

Redmoon Theater has won national acclaim creating innovative theatrical events and large public outdoor spectacles. These events are powered by ingenious mechanical devices, intricate sets, robust physical action, live music, and inventive forms of mask and puppetry. This unique and highly visual language transforms streets, stages, and architectural landmarks into places of public celebration.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. The mission of the MCA is to be an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the art of our time.
Last modified at 12:29 PM CST on Friday, June 04, 2004.

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