Cyrano's Chris Thorn Brings Laughter and Emotion to Two River Theater

Oct 4, 2019

Chris Thorn is part of the five member cast of "Cyrano" at Two River Theater
Credit T. Charles Erickson

Cyrano,  written by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers, is an adaptation from the famous play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand.  Cyrano is directed by Meredith McDonough and is a co-production with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

One of the stars of Cyrano, Chris Thorn, has been a part of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in the past. Thorn recently sat down at Two River Theater with WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about this production, his career and Two River Theater.

Thorn says he's enjoyed being part of the five member cast of Cyrano.

"I think it's a wonderfully funny, fast, wicked and moving interpretation of a classic play.  This is a play about plays and I think some people in the classical theater, we're not just in love with art but also in love with the theater itself."

Thorn plays multiple roles in Two River Theater production, including "Montfleury" and "Count De Guiche".  Is it difficult to play so many roles in a show?

"When the writing is good it's actually quite easy to do.  Just the way that the text lays out you end up sort of taking on a different persona.  Our director Meredith McDonough employed alot of useful things to me.  I have a different hat as each character.  There are a lot of clues for the audience, so I don't actually have to do a ton of gymnastic acting in order to tell you I'm different people, I just inhabit different circumstances and wear different clothes."

Thorn praises the work done by playwright Jason O'Connell, who also stars as "Cyrano" in the show.

"It can't be understated that Jason is a fantastic actor with prodigious gifts.  He's also sort of a standup comedian but has great emotional depth."

WBGO News Director Doug Doyle joins actor Chris Thorn at Two River Theater in Red Bank to talk about "Cyrano"
Credit Cassie Galasetti for WBGO

Thorn, who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, was born in Maine and graduated from Boston University.  He's enjoys working with an audience like he does in Cyrano.

"The audience enjoyment is inherently infectious.  They laugh and our performance comes up and maybe they love more and we become part of like a collective thing.  You know the thing about laughter is that it opens you up.  And then once you've opened people up with laughter other things become accessible, other ideas you can sort of sneak in emotions.  I find it's always easier to start people off laughing."

Cyrano runs through Sunday, October 13 at the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, part of Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Click above to hear the entire conversation with Chris Thorn.