Jason O’Connell (Two River’s Noises Off and The Merry Wives of Windsor) leads a five-person cast as the larger-than-life Cyrano, the brilliant thinker, wordsmith, and swordsman. He’s a thorny romantic with an outsized reputation and a barely contained loved for his childhood sweetheart Roxane. Filled with wit and heart, this exuberant and irreverent adaptation of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac is a delightful combination of comedy and romance.
A brilliant adaptation… the cast is nothing short of remarkable
The classic play ‘is told in a fresh, unpretentious, and regular fun voice’
The company is ‘superb’ and the direction is ‘flawless’
TWO RIVER TIMES
A classic play, tastefully and lovingly adapted for a modern audience
OUT IN JERSEY
MEET THE ARTISTS
JASON O’CONNELL is a NYC-based actor, writer and director whose plays include Cyrano, The Dork Knight (Abingdon Theatre, Joe’s Pub at The Public), and Fat and Scant of Breath: or, Stabbing at Hamlet. Directing credits include the world premiere of Cyrano (Amphibian Stage), Pride and Prejudice (Syracuse Stage), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), and Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Texas Shakespeare Festival). As an actor, Jason’s Off-Broadway credits include Harold Ryan in Happy Birthday, Wanda June (Wheelhouse/The Duke on 42nd St), Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages), Bottom and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Pearl), Edward Ferrars and Robert Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility (Bedlam/The Gym at Judson), and Trigorin in The Seagull (Bedlam/Sheen Center). Regional acting credits include Noises Off and The Merry Wives of Windsor at Two River Theater, The Play’s the Thing at A.P.T., Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at Great Lakes Theater, Next Fall at Florida Studio Theatre, All My Sons and Frost/Nixon at Arkansas Rep, the title role in Hamlet at Texas Shakespeare Festival, the title role in Richard III at Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, and 24 plays in 10 seasons with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (favorite roles include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Dorante in The Liar). Jason has appeared on several episodes of NBC’s Law & Order franchise, and has performed stand-up comedy all over NYC, including at Caroline’s on Broadway. He won the NYIT award for Outstanding Lead Actor in Don Juan in Hell (also cited as one of the year’s best performances by The Wall Street Journal); the premiere production of Cyrano received Best Play and Best Director citations from the Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum. Jason is a founding member of NYC theatre company The COOP, and makes his home in Queens with his fiancée, the actress/playwright Kate Hamill. www.jason-oconnell.com.
LUIS QUINTERO (Christian) is thrilled to be making his Two River debut! Recent credits include: The River Bride (Stages Repertory Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Man of La Mancha (Triad Stage); Around the World in 80 Days (A.D Players); American Mariachi (Denver Center Theatre Company/The Old Globe, San Diego; Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Acting Company/HVSF); Cyrano, Into the Woods, Twelfth Night, Book of Will, Pride and Prejudice (u/s) (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); A Midsummers Night’s Dream (N.C Symphony); The Lightning thief, A Christmas Carol (TheaterWorksUSA); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Our Town (Generations, A Theater Company). BFA: University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
BRITNEY SIMPSON Into the Woods, Cyrano, The Taming of the Shrew, Richard II (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); Nina Simone: Four Women (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Beauty and the Beast, The Odyssey, The Yeomen of the Guard, The Wiz, Guys and Dolls, the world-premiere production of Head Over Heels, The Cocoanuts (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); A Christmas Carol (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); The Wizard of Oz, Our Town, Fiddler on the Roof (PCPA Theaterfest); ’S Wonderful (Oregon Cabaret Theatre). She has performed with The Britt Festival in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Education: The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.
CHRIS THORN Broadway: Bernhardt/Hamlet (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Measure for Measure (The Acting Company), Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages), Twelfth Night (Pig Iron), Miss Lily Gets Boned (Studio 42), King John (NY Shakespeare Exchange), The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight (EST), The Most Damaging Wound (The Production Company), Dead Man’s Socks (Ma-Yi). Regional: The Guthrie, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (two seasons), CATF (two seasons), Barrington Stage, Delaware Theatre Company, Fulton Theatre Company, TheaterWorks Hartford, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and The Acting Company. Film/TV: Madam Secretary, Still on the Road, Sonnet Project. Training: Boston University, LAMDA. He is a native of South Berwick, ME.
NANCE WILLIAMSON is thrilled to debut at Two River Theater. Nance has performed on Broadway in Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass, Henry IV (Lincoln Center) and Cyrano (both with Kevin Kline), and Romeo and Juliet (with Orlando Bloom). Notable Off-Broadway credits include Pride and Prejudice, Eric Tucker’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Seagull, An Empty Plate in the Café Grand Boeuf with George Wendt, Marvin’s Room, Two Gentlemen of Verona in Central Park, and plays at the New Victory, MTC and Roundabout Theatre. Over Nance’s 35-year career she has worked extensively around the country; highlights include Steel Magnolias and Dividing the Estate at Dallas Theater Center, where she was a company member performing in over 35 productions; Boeing-Boeing and Shooting Star at Trinity Rep; The Glass Menagerie and Ladies Man at Pioneer; The Misanthrope at Arena Stage; A Moon for the Misbegotten at Alliance; Delaware, Book of Will and Benediction at Denver Center; and 19 seasons at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where favorite roles include Beatrice, Cleopatra, Lady M, Portia, Jacques, Mrs. Malaprop, Kate and the Nurse. On TV Nance can be seen on The Good Wife, Fringe, Prince Street and all the Law & Orders. Nance and her husband Kurt Rhoads celebrated 35 years of marriage and have collaborated on 66 plays together.
BRENDA WITHERS (Co-Playwright) is a writer, actor and founding member of the Harbor Stage Company. Her plays include The Ding Dongs, Northside Hollow and String Around My Finger and have been produced at places like Performance Space NY, Urbanite Theatre, Amphibian Stage and Portland Stage. Onstage credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage, Geva Theatre Center and McCarter Theatre, where she is currently appearing in Gloria: A Life. Brenda has enjoyed playwriting residencies with the Camargo Foundation, New Georges and the Huntington Theatre, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
MEREDITH MCDONOUGH (Director) was for the past seven seasons the Associate Artistic Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where favorite directing credits included both parts of Angels in America, Peter and the Starcatcher and The Last Five Years. In the Humana Festival, she directed the premieres of Marginal Loss, Dot, brownsville song (b-side for tray) and Airness, among others. Regionally, favorites include The Lily’s Revenge with Taylor Mac (Magic Theatre), Noises Off (Guthrie), Fair Use (Steppenwolf), Eurydice (Williamstown), the musical Summer of ’42, and the US premiere of NSFW (Roundhouse). She was the New Works Director for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Education: Northwestern; MFA: UCSD.
KRISTEN ROBINSON (Scenic Designer) is a New York City-based set designer. She previously designed The Lion in Winter for Two River Theater. Her work ranges from site-specific installations to outdoor Shakespeare. A Princess Grace Fellow, she holds her MFA from Yale University. USA 829. Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Purchase College, SUNY. kristenrobinsondesign.com
Jessica Wegener Shay
JESSICA WEGENER SHAY (Costume Designer) HVSF: The Sea-Maid’s Music, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Selected New York: Lewiston/Clarkston (Rattlestick), The Performers (Broadway), A Kid Like Jake, All-American (LCT3), Outside People (Vineyard), Suicide, Inc., The Dream of the Burning Boy (Roundabout Underground), Oohrah! (Atlantic), Next Fall, Armed and Naked in America, The Mistakes Madeline Made (Naked Angels). Resident Designer, Vampire Cowboys. Costume Supervisor, Fordham University LC.
PAUL TOBEN (Lighting Designer) The Story of My Life (Broadway). Electra in a One Piece, The Realm (Wild Project); Cry It Out (Northlight); The Mystery of Love and Sex, Witch (Writers Theatre); The Wolves (Studio Theatre); Noises Off (The Guthrie); Angels in America, Evocation to Visible Appearance, Airness, The Roommate (Actors Theatre); NSFW (Round House). paultoben.com
Palmer Hefferan previously designed Cyrano at Two River Theater. Broadway: The Lifespan of a Fact (Studio 54), Grand Horizons (upcoming, Second Stage). Off-Broadway: Marys Seacole (Lincoln Center); Wild Goose Dreams (The Public); The New Englanders, Sugar in Our Wounds, Important Hats… (Manhattan Theatre Club); Seared, BLKS, Collective Rage, Charm, School Girls (MCC Theater); Do You Feel Anger? (Vineyard); Something Clean, Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout); Fefu and Her Friends (TFANA), Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages); Fabulation, Death of the Last Black Man… (Signature Theatre); Friend Art (Second Stage); Samara, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Henry Hewes nomination, Soho Rep.); Today Is My Birthday (Henry Hewes Award, Drama Desk nomination, Page 73). Regional: Tell Me I’m Not Crazy, Grand Horizons, Dangerous House, Seared, Romance Novels… (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Girls, American Night (Yale Rep); As You Like It, Henry V, Henry IV, Part One (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); peerless (TBA Award, Marin Theatre); Baby Screams Miracle (Helen Hayes Award), Guards at the Taj, Cherokee (Woolly Mammoth). Palmer received a 2019 Obie Award for “Sustained Excellence in Sound Design.” MFA: Yale School of Drama.
STEPHANIE KLAPPER (Casting Director) is so happy that this beautiful HVS production of Cyrano has continued. Her work is often seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. She continues her long collaborations with numerous companies such as Primary Stages, Mint Theatre, New York Classical Theatre, Masterworks, Resonance Ensemble, american vicarious, The Philadelphia Orchestra, FIAF, Capital Rep, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, American Players Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, amongst many others. Member: Casting Society of America. Her work on this production is dedicated to the memory of her father, who shared his love of Cyrano with her.
Production Stage Manager
JANELLE CASO (Production Stage Manager) The Public: The Tempest, Wild Goose Dreams, Mlima’s Tale, Under the Radar Festival, Oedipus El Rey, Star-Crossed. Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Noises Off. National Tour: Evil Dead. Regional: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Othello, The Comedy of Errors, Frost/Nixon, RFK, Hurlyburly, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, Philadelphia Orchestra Valentine’s Day Concert. MFA: Columbia University.
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
HUDSON VALLEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL (Co-Producer) is a critically acclaimed, professional, non-profit theater company based in Garrison, NY, one hour north of Manhattan. Now in its 33rd year, the Festival has established a reputation for lucid, engaging, and highly inventive productions staged under an iconic, open-air Theater Tent overlooking the Hudson River at historic Boscobel House and Gardens. In recent years, the Festival has also ventured beyond the Tent, touring work to regional venues, transferring productions to other theaters, engaging its community through radically participatory art-making, and reaching over 60,000 students and educators annually through year-round education programs. Learn more at hvshakespeare.org.