cyranaHaving recently received the final abstracts for the 2015 Festival presentations, we’ll be blogging about the program and offering you some sneak peeks of what you can expect to see this September!

Our first teaser is about a presentation entitled “CyranO Becomes CyranA” featuring Prof. Doug Zschiegner and actors from the Niagara University Theatre, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26th at 11am in the Burchfield Auditorium. In this adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano De Bergerac, the genders of the characters are switched while their behavior is unaltered. The result is a world where women are the dominant sex, while men peacock for their attention. This presentation will feature actors recreating scenes and sharing their experiences with the production, with adaptor/director Doug Zschiegner moderating.

In an article about the play published in the Buffalo News, Zschiegner says that, “The female students are really taking this by the horns – these particular roles – because they know they will never get to play these roles again, as a woman. The men are finding some very interesting aspects – what it’s like to not be in the dominant gender. To not assume they have the power, especially in this period when his main role is to attract a mate.” The interviewer also writes that “[Zschiegner] said the play is set in the 1640s, which is an especially difficult period for costumes and sets, so they are “making up” a 1640s setting, but with women as the dominant gender. He said his decision to adapt the classic came from two impulses: to present a play that has more roles for women, which is a common problem in classic plays; and to look at the familiar story in a fresh way.”

The play’s run took place this past March and was well-received, so Zschiegner is considering publishing the play. But don’t worry—even if you missed your chance to see it, actors from the production will be acting out scenes during the Festival presentation.

Doug Zschiegner is Associate Director and Associate Professor of Acting and Directing for Niagara University’s BFA Theatre program.  Doug’s MFA is from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program, and he has directed, acted, and taught at Equity theatres and universities around the country.

Click here to buy tickets and other great indoor events at this year’s Festival!