PCS Blog

Cyrano Knows Noses

Posted by Lindsay Pfeifer | 08 April 2015

CYRANO Behind the Nose from Portland Center Stage on Vimeo.

The play Cyrano is based off the life of one Cyrano de Bergerac, with added inventions and myths. However, the most important feature in any adaptation of Cyrano is based on reality - the real-life Cyrano de Bergerac truly did have a large nose. The idea that Cyrano's character is internally debilitated by his deformed nose is the driving element of every adaptation of Cyrano. Because of this, careful thought and preparation must go into creating Cyrano's nose.

Director Jane Jones didn't want the nose to be Pinocchio-esque, but rather something Cyrano realistically could have been born with or developed as an adolescent. After researching "nose diseases" and gathering inspiration for the deformity, the development process began. Using the most plausible images and information possible, Cyrano's nose began to take shape.

For our adaptation, 44 noses were ordered for the lead actor, Andrew McGinn. After making a mold of Andrew's face, the fake noses were developed by a makeup artist in Los Angeles, Brian Sipe at Gamut Studies. The bulk of the nose is made of silicon rubber and is applied with a silicon adhesive to his face in a process that takes 30-40 minutes. Taking the nose off is a similar story. To rid himself of all the makeup and glue on his face, it takes Andrew another 15-20 minutes post-show. All the time dedicated to Cyrano's nose is completely worth it - without it the story of Cyrano simply wouldn't be the same.


Cyrano runs through May 3 with performances every evening at 7:30 p.m. excluding Mondays.

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