New Work
Writers: Michael Dalberg

Dramatis Personae

CYRANO DE BERGERAC A woman somewhere between her late twenties and forty years old. She may have a nose that is larger than life, or she may bear a nose that is particularly average, or somewhere in between. Likewise, her visage may be rough, or otherwise marred, or perhaps youthful. Cyrano’s tragedy is in being a modern woman, ordinary by most respects.

ROXANE Beautiful and sought after, she is intelligent, and an heiress. She is a cousin of Cyrano. She loves poetry, and has a soft spot for language. She may embody a type of dated male fantasy, and she may seek the same.

CHRISTIAN A handsome man, Christian is of simple wit. He is new to the area, gullible, and naïve.

MONTFLEURY DE GUICHE A nobleman with high connections, Montfleury is Captain of the company.

DONNA LE BRET Best friend of both Cyrano and Roxane. Donna is a pastry chef.

LIGNIERE A member of the company, friend of Cyrano, and all around regular guy.


Perhaps set in Paris, France, but otherwise meant for any place of interest.


Perhaps set in the mid seventeenth century, but otherwise meant for a generic time in the past. One of nostalgia.

Editor's Note: This is the original script, as shared by the author.

Scene One

SETTING: an open space that can become many things. TIME: indiscriminate.

(The play begins in stillness. The space is empty, and the lights are out. After a quiet moment, voices can be heard approaching. Then a door erupts open, and several people enter, the lights turn on, and voices and bodies fill the space.)

(Boxes, benches, costumes, food, and whatever else is being carted through the space. Voices are heard as people go on and off the playable area, freely speaking to or otherwise interacting with the audience.)

(There is impromptu dialogue setting the scene while they’re literally setting the scene, and marking a light and boisterous beginning. All but the following three characters exit. DONNA has food with her. LIGNIERE sees this, and grabs a cupcake from her to eat. CYRANO sees this, and approaches.)

CYRANO (Brandishing a baguette like a sword, over-dramatic) Hold, villain!

LIGNIERE For what reason dost thou accost me, thus?

CYRANO Thou hast not yet paid the fare.

LIGNIERE Fare? What fare where?

CYRANO (Indicating the cupcake) Why, that fare there!

(LIGNIERE grabs a baguette of his own.)

LIGNIERE If this be the fare, then I tell thee “Fair thee well!”

(LIGNIERE raises the baguette to swing at CYRANO, but DONNA grabs it.)

DONNA Shut up, both of you!

(She takes the baguette from CYRANO.)

These are not swords, and you are not musketeers!

CYRANO But that is the last pastry.

DONNA No, it’s not.

(She presents a cupcake.)

CYRANO You saved one for me?

DONNA Don’t I always?

LIGNIERE But she gave one to me first!

DONNA Ligniere, just because you got it first doesn’t mean it was meant for you.

(MONTFLEURY enters, enraged.)


LIGNIERE (Mouth full of pastry) Crap.

MONTFLEURY So this is where you’ve been.


MONTFLEURY I don’t want to hear it, Linguini! You were given explicit instructions to watch the cadets while I visited with the Cardinal!

LIGNIERE I lost track of time.

MONTFLEURY You’re cramming cupcakes.

CYRANO (Also eating) They’re quite good.

MONTFLEURY Ah. Cyrano. I thought I saw your nose peeking from the shadows.

CYRANO Your voice gave way to my ears; my nose isn’t part of this.

MONTFLEURY Then stuff it, codpiece.

CYRANO But if it were, this piece of cod might sniff hypocrisy.

MONTFLEURY Go back to filling your face. Carve out those nobody-to-love handles.

(MONTFLEURY tries to walk away from CYRANO, but CYRANO prevents him with a baguette.)

CYRANO You’d know all about having nobody to love.

MONTFLEURY (Indicating CYRANO) I don’t have time for corner stops.

CYRANO It’s always hard to go home, isn’t it?

MONTFLEURY You’re lucky I didn’t bring my sword.

CYRANO You’re lucky you didn’t bring your sword.

MONTFLEURY (Indicating her nose) Maybe I can borrow yours? Tell me, when you sharpen it, is there any grindstone left?

(CYRANO brandishes the baguette, and swings at MONTFLEURY. He then grabs a baguette of his own. They duel.)

You will learn respect!

CYRANO Respect can’t be learned, only earned.

MONTFLEURY You will listen to me, Cyrano! You’ll keep your nose down, like a good little b—

CYRANO Are you trying to teach me a lesson? Wouldn’t you rather have Ligniere do it, so you can see your uncle, and take credit for it?

MONTFLEURY My uncle is—


CYRANO And how will the Cardinal reward his good little altar boy, this time?

MONTFLEURY Everything I have, I deserve.

CYRANO Does he ask you over for mass? How is his mass? Large, or—

(MONTFLEURY rages, seizing CYRANO. This is a real moment of danger. He withdraws a small blade, and brings it to CYRANO’s nose.)

MONTFLEURY One more word, and I’ll carve this Gargamel to match the Sphinx.


ROXANE Cyrano!


ROXANE What is going on?

MONTFLEURY Nothing. Right, Cyrano?


ROXANE I think it best you leave.

MONTFLEURY Of course! Much to be done.

(MONTFLEURY hands CYRANO bread. He leans into her ear.)

I don’t have time for you, and your yeast.

CYRANO Are you saying you want to bake with me?


MONTFLEURY Someday, very soon, you’re going to learn your place.

CYRANO I don’t have time for lessons.

MONTFLEURY That’s because someone like you doesn’t get time. Someone like you doesn’t get a second glance.

ROXANE Montfleury—

CYRANO You mean a poet? A duelist? A friend?

(MONTFLEURY laughs.)

No, I know what you mean. You’ve got jokes, right?

DONNA Cyrano, you’re—

CYRANO If you’ve got them, let them fly, Montfleury! C’mon! How about something poetic for the poet, hmm? “When you sup it must annoy you, dipping in your cup,” or something descriptive: “a rock, a peak, a cape, a peninsula; an oblong capsular!” Or were you thinking something more modern?

LIGNIERE Audiences like modern.

CYRANO Oh, Ligniere. He thinks he nose everything. Now, this could go one of two ways, depending on if I’m Jewish.

LIGNIERE Historically: Safer to not be. Can you smell what I’m thinking?

CYRANO We’ll avoid that. Sexually: we’re going to ignore the obvious phallic references. And no, my name isn’t Dick.

LIGNIERE Disapproving: All I hear are nose from you.

CYRANO Juvenile: that’s because I nose best. Culinary: that bell pepper must be good for cooking. Complimentary: you smell really good. Respiratory: your nose is so big there is an echo when you inhale. Polite: excuse me, you have a face on your nose. Early 2000s: your nose is so large, even Dora couldn’t explore it. Medieval: when I'm laying down it works as a sundial. Fashionable: it's hard having a big nose; all my pullover shirts have stretch marks. Recreational: I sniffed cocaine five months ago. I’m still waiting for it to get into my system.

(CYRANO becomes serious.)

Or there’s optical: I can’t see past it. Global: neither can anyone else. Ironic: I can’t rise above it. Social: no one will let me. Truth: I’m more than my nose. Truth: no one believes that. Truth: I don’t believe that.

MONTFLEURY Advice: no one gets something for nothing.

CYRANO Thanks, but no thanks: I do everything.

MONTFLEURY Not enough.

CYRANO You can’t do enough to be born in the right family.


CYRANO I hear there isn’t much to be jealous of down there.

MONTFLEURY I’d be willing to show you, if your nose didn’t make me self-conscious.

CYRANO Just reach out. Or are your hands too small to grab me?

MONTFLEURY Is that what you want?

CYRANO (She starts to withdraw her sword) I only want a reason.

MONTFLEURY I’ll give you ten.

(They’ve gotten quite close, and the air is tense.)

ROXANE Montfleury! Go! Now.

MONTFLEURY Being your cousin doesn’t mean I can’t—

ROXANE Please.

MONTFLEURY (After considering for a moment) For you.

(He withdraws slightly.)

It’s been lovely, as always. Have a good night. Stay safe, Roxane. Lingerie. Cyrano.

(He exits.)

CHRISTIAN Did he just call you “Lingerie?”

ROXANE Cyrano, you know better.

CYRANO He was after Ligniere. What was I supposed to do?

ROXANE Leave him alone! He’s the captain of your company.

CYRANO For now.

CHRISTIAN What does that mean? Going to take him out?

CYRANO I could.

CHRISTIAN Not likely.

CYRANO Excuse me?

CHRISTIAN I mean, look at you.

(CYRANO quickly approaches CHRISTIAN. LIGNIERE moves CHRISTIAN aside, DONNA and ROXANE stop CYRANO).

DONNA Cyrano, please, he didn’t mean anything by it.

CYRANO Who are you, huh? Christian, right?

CHRISTIAN Yeah, but listen, I didn’t mean—

CYRANO Right! Neville’s boy.

ROXANE Cyrano—

CYRANO How does it feel to be here because your father was too stupid to stay alive?

(All are still for a moment.)

ROXANE Christian—

(He shrugs her off and exits. LIGNIERE goes after him.)


CYRANO Did you hear him? He’s pathetic!

ROXANE He misspoke.

CYRANO I was wrong. He’s not pathetic; you’re pathetic for defending him.

ROXANE Christian merely said something he shouldn’t have. I bet you can relate.

(ROXANE exits.)

CYRANO Roxane, wait!

(Pause. It is now only CYRANO and DONNA.)

Should I insult you, so you can leave, too?

DONNA Is that what you want?

CYRANO It’s never about what I want.

(CYRANO goes to exit.)

DONNA You make too many enemies.

CYRANO You make too many friends!

DONNA Not everything has to be a fight.

CYRANO I wasn’t out-of-line.

DONNA You wouldn’t have to say it if you weren’t.

CYRANO What am I supposed to do? Just let it happen?

DONNA That’s what some expect.

CYRANO I am not what people expect.

DONNA I know.

CYRANO What’s that supposed to mean?

(Catches herself.)

Sorry. I didn’t mean to—

DONNA Don’t apologize, or people might think you’re capable of sympathy.

CYRANO As long as it’s not empathy.

CYRANO & DONNA Anything but that!

(They laugh together.)

CYRANO Montfleury… He’s the captain? Him?

DONNA I know.

CYRANO And then Christian has the audacity—

DONNA He’s new.

CYRANO He’s stupid! New and stupid! I never knew such green could make me see such red.

DONNA Is that his fault?



Why did she follow him out?

DONNA You pushed them both out.

CYRANO I didn’t mean to push her out.

DONNA Well, they’re friends.


DONNA Friends. You remember those?

CYRANO Vaguely.

DONNA They don’t cost much; just a little love.

CYRANO I barely have a little.

DONNA It’ll go a long way.

CYRANO I need it for myself.

DONNA Just yourself?

CYRANO (Smiling) Well… maybe I have a little extra.

DONNA Does that mean you love?

CYRANO Me? Love? That I should love…

(Laughs, and then pauses.)

I must.

DONNA You what?

CYRANO Don’t make me say it again.

DONNA Why haven’t you said anything before?

CYRANO It’s easier to say nothing.

DONNA I understand that completely.

CYRANO What do you mean?

DONNA Nothing. I knew it!


DONNA You’re too angry to not be in love.

CYRANO That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

DONNA Am I wrong?

(CYRANO says nothing.)

Do I know her?

CYRANO Better than anyone.


(CYRANO says nothing.)

Tell me about her!

CYRANO I don’t know. She’s… it doesn’t matter

DONNA You’re an awful liar.

CYRANO I don’t like lying to you!

DONNA Then don’t. You sound stupid.

(CYRANO takes a moment, and then the words suddenly come forward.)

CYRANO I’m resolved that Fate has cursed me to love the fairest of the world. She is the most brilliant, most refined… yet danger mortalized. She’s unsuspicious, full of charms unconscious. Like a sweet perfumed rose, a snare of nature, within whose petals Cupid lurks in ambush! Diane herself cannot be more graceful, nor walk more lightly, than she. This “she,” this Love incarnate, to know warmth not from her embrace, but from the possibility of it.

(DONNA is flushing.)

Warmth felt through mere proximity. It is ambitious, but trying; tasteful to the world, treasonous to the self; burning, yet the purpose of yearning.

DONNA (Invested in the language) Keep going.

CYRANO I long for this Venus to mount her conch blown sea-ward—

DONNA OK, please stop.


DONNA Why haven’t you told her? Assuming, of course, you haven’t.

CYRANO We’re too close.

DONNA The mighty Cyrano shows fear!

CYRANO I’m not scared!

DONNA Then tell her!

CYRANO I will! I mean… I wrote this letter.

(She withdraws the letter from her person.)

DONNA Can’t tell her yourself? Face-to-face?

CYRANO I want to. But… I can’t explain. Here.

DONNA For me?

CYRANO Read it.

(DONNA takes the letter, hesitantly. She seems to be holding her breath. She opens it, and reads it briefly.)

DONNA This is to Roxane.

CYRANO Well, yes. Who else?

DONNA She’s your cousin.

CYRANO Through marriage. Something like my mother’s uncle’s sixth cousin’s something or other, who married blah blah blah. There’s no blood between us.

DONNA And no love lost between us.

CYRANO So you approve?

DONNA What would that matter?

CYRANO You’re my best friend.

DONNA I’m also hers.



DONNA I don’t know two better people than you.

CYRANO Do you think she might—that I might have a chance? I mean, I don’t even know if she likes women. Does she?

DONNA She…I don’t know.

CYRANO But you see her every day! What are—

LIGNIERE Looking at that letter, again?

(LIGNIERE has entered, unbeknownst to the others.)

CYRANO All right, that’s enough.

(CYRANO stows away the letter.)

DONNA (Accusatory) You knew about this?

LIGNIERE She’s been carrying that thing for a week. Made a few different versions.

DONNA And you didn’t tell me?

LIGNIERE (Perhaps apologetic) I thought it’d be better coming from her.

DONNA I want to see it.



(LIGNIERE withdraws a letter, and hands it to her.) I know it by heart. “I love thee!”

CYRANO Shut up.

DONNA “Thine eyes…”

LIGNIERE “Thy lips…”


DONNA & LIGNIERE “When I see thee come, I faint for fear.”

CYRANO Enough!

(CYRANO grabs the letter, tears it in half, and throws it to the ground.)

What do you want, Ligniere?

LIGNIERE Can’t I just stop by to say “hi?”


LIGNIERE I’ve turned over a new leaf.

CYRANO You’re still from the same tree.

LIGNIERE (He is nervous) It’s Montfleury. He’s—out there.

DONNA What do you mean, “out there?”

LIGNIERE You know what I mean.

CYRANO Is he alone?



LIGNIERE I didn’t stay to see.

CYRANO I’ll go with you.

DONNA Go out the back!

CYRANO We mean to leave, not to flee; we take the front.

LIGNIERE Maybe she’s right. We—

CYRANO Ligniere. I didn’t keep you safe for the last several years just to watch you die now.

LIGNIERE I didn’t want you to save me, just to watch you die for me now.

CYRANO I’ll be too busy protecting you to die.

LIGNIERE And who will protect you?

CYRANO Donna, of course! You’re coming, aren’t you?

DONNA You go ahead. I’ll finish up, and run out back. I don’t need to see all those innocent people slaughtered.

(They laugh. CYRANO and LIGNIERE exit. DONNA follows toward the door, watching them go. Alone, she turns back to exit the other way. Stopping, she looks to the torn letter on the floor. She steps to it, and picks it up. She reads a little of it again, smiles, perhaps sadly, and tucks it away in her pocket. She exits.)

Scene Two

SETTING: outside. TIME: immediately following.

(The set is dark, and the air is still. After a moment, LIGNERE and CYRANO enter, suddenly. LIGNIERE is swinging his blade, uttering a long and loud battle cry. CYRANO has her blade withdrawn, but notices no one is there.)

CYRANO Ligniere.

(He continues screaming.)


(He continues screaming.)


(She cuffs him, and he comes out of his trance, realizing no one is there.)

LIGNIERE He was right here.

CYRANO Probably still is.

LIGNIERE Maybe he went home.

CYRANO Doubtful.

LIGNIERE Yeah. But maybe.

CYRANO Well, for now, it seems it’s just the three of us.

(LIGNIERE is confused, and then realizes she’s referencing her nose as the third person.)

Let’s go, then.

(They sheathe their swords. CYRANO goes to exit.)

LIGNIERE What do you think of Donna?


LIGNIERE Donna. What do you think of her?

CYRANO We’re about to die, and you want to talk about Donna?

LIGNIERE I thought you liked her.

CYRANO Well, sure. I mean, what’s not to like?

LIGNIERE She’s gorgeous.

CYRANO We all know that you’re in love with her.

LIGNIERE Well, no—I mean, yes—

CYRANO Make up your mind.

LIGNIERE I… fancy her, sure, but it’s not to the point of love.

CYRANO You love her.

LIGNIERE Yes. She doesn’t love me.

CYRANO What makes you say that?

LIGNIERE What if I were to tell you that she’s in love with someone else?

CYRANO I’d say they’re extremely unlucky, as I’d have to stab them in the neck for you out of principle.

LIGNIERE (Laughing) Yes, well—

CYRANO Whom do I have to stab in the neck?

LIGNIERE No one! I mean, there’s one…

CYRANO Who? Another man in the company?

LIGNIERE Yes. No? That’s to say she’s less interested in men, and more—

MONTFLEURY Am I interrupting something?

(MONTFLEURY emerges from the shadows.)

CYRANO Ligniere was just asking me on a date, but I told him I was holding out for you.

MONTFLEURY Ah, moving away from the fairer sex?

CYRANO And toward someone who’d use sex as a fare.

LIGNIERE (Aside) Can we stop making “fair” versus “fare” jokes?

MONTFLEURY “The more the merrier,” I always say.

CYRANO I didn’t peg you for a polygamist. Misogynist, sure—

MONTFLEURY I thought you liked it rough?

CYRANO Follow me home, and I’ll show you just how rough.

(CYRANO and LIGNIERE go to exit. MONTFLEURY shoves them back.)

MONTFLEURY Leaving? We were just getting comfortable.

CYRANO I don’t do second base on first dates, sorry.

MONTFLEURY Licorice, are you going to let her talk for you?

LIGNIERE Absolutely.

MONTFLEURY I was hoping we could come to a peaceful resolution here.

CYRANO Says the missionary holding his sword.

MONTFLEURY Purely precautionary. I simply want you two to show me proper respect.

CYRANO Maybe if you earned it.

MONTFLEURY I am your captain!

CYRANO Because your uncle is the Cardinal!

MONTFLEURY I served for five years.

CYRANO And your sword has never been wet.

(MONTFLEURY puts his hand on his sword’s hilt.)

Aww. Can’t get it up?

(MONTFLEURY quickly puts his hand to CYRANO’s throat. CYRANO tries to withdraw her sword, but he forces her arm still. LIGNIERE leaps forward.)


CYRANO (Firmly) Ligniere, don’t!

(LIGNIERE is still.)

MONTFLEURY Scared of my naked blade?

CYRANO Keep your “blade” to yourself.

MONTFLEURY Not having fun without all your friends?

CYRANO Just do what you came to do, and get it over with.

MONTFLEURY You misunderstand. I didn’t come here to force myself onto you. No matter how much you may want it.

(He gets very close to her, so only she can hear him.)

There is no water that could wash your grotesque off of me.

LIGNIERE Leave her alone, or the Cardinal finds out.

(MONTFLEURY eases up.)

MONTFLEURY I told your cousin I wouldn’t hurt you.

CYRANO I didn’t tell her I wouldn’t hurt you.

MONTFLEURY You’ll have to get through them, first

(MONTFLEURY references toward the audience. CYRANO and LIGNIERE suddenly realize they’re surrounded.)

Have a good night. I’ll be sure to sing your praises at dawn.


CYRANO Get behind me.

LIGNIERE Members of our company?

CYRANO No. Mercenaries.

(DONNA enters.)

DONNA Cyrano, is that you? I heard—oh, God!

CYRANO Stay with Ligniere!

LIGNIERE How many are there?

CYRANO Only a hundred?


DONNA This theater’s too full.

CYRANO Donna, you were right.

DONNA About?

CYRANO I make too many enemies.

(The lights dim, and the sounds of advancing steps are heard. The lights begin to flicker, and the sound increases. The flickers change to moments of darkness interrupted with moments of light. In these moments of light, we get tableaus of CYRANO fighting foes we cannot see. As the sequence continues, the sound crescendos, and we slowly see CYRANO being worn down, and almost defeated. An enemy appears, unseen by CYRANO. We hear “Cyrano” called out. She turns around, sees the enemy, but it is too late. Before the final blow, the enemy is struck, and falls to the ground. DONNA is seen holding a rolling pin. The stage is then draped with darkness and silence.)

Scene Three

SETTING: inside. TIME: shortly thereafter.

(We remain in shadow and silence for a moment, until the voice of LIGNIERE breaks the space. His speech is over-dramatic.)

LIGNIERE They say you see your life flash before your eyes when your life nears its end. That you get one last chance to relive your proudest moments. That was not this time. Forced to watch what were to be the final moments of my best friend’s life, this battle was seared over all other memory. She was down on the ground, sword raised, and exhausted. Surrounded. But when I called her name, you could feel it: a shudder through the mob. They had not known whom they were paid to kill, but they knew the name “Cyrano.” In their hesitation, she forged forward, disarming five at once. Raking one of their rapiers, she ravaged another twenty, all fumbling to keep their footing. Suddenly, the mob was broken, packs of whining wolves racing away, the spare couple staying to fight to keep face only to flee themselves… in a matter of moments, the dust was cleared with sweeping panache. In the end, there were naught but two: myself, and Cyrano.

(The lights have returned. We see LIGNIERE, CYRANO, DONNA, CHRISTIAN, and ROXANE.)

DONNA Ahem. You seem to have forgotten part of the story, already.

LIGNIERE The mind has only so much room for memory.

ROXANE Thank God you’re alive!

(ROXANE embraces CYRANO. This a tender moment, one of which CYRANO has often dreamed. ROXANE then hits CYRANO.)

How dare you go out there!

CYRANO They were after Ligniere!

ROXANE Who cares about Ligniere?


CHRISTIAN What’s the big deal with Cyrano?

ROXANE Montfleury wouldn’t send one hundred mercenaries to send a message to Ligniere.


ROXANE Am I wrong?


CHRISTIAN He’s our captain. Just do what he says!

CYRANO You don’t know him like I do.

CHRISTIAN Did you two go on a bad date or something?


ROXANE Christian, why don’t you get some fresh air?

CHRISTIAN I’m not a child.

ROXANE Please?

CHRISTIAN (Child-like) But Ligniere gets to stay!

DONNA Ligniere, please leave.

LIGNIERE (Child-like) But he’s the child!


LIGNIERE All right! C’mon, Christian. Let’s go do… something.


ROXANE Donna, could you give us a moment?

(DONNA stands for a moment, unbelieving that she’s being asked to leave. She finally concedes.)


(DONNA goes to exit, but stops by the door, out of sight of ROXANE and CYRANO.)

CYRANO Well? What?

ROXANE What has gotten into you lately?

CYRANO Montfleury’s always had it out for me, you know that.

ROXANE He has reason to be on edge with you. We all do.

CYRANO I’m sorry for what I said before. You know me, I—

ROXANE Yes. I know you. But Christian doesn’t. And Montfleury refuses.

CYRANO Is this because I won’t go on a date with him?

ROXANE Be serious.

CYRANO He’s seriously stupid.

ROXANE You’ve been with the company longer, and are a better duelist. We all know.

CYRANO He’s petty, and prideful.

ROXANE But you feed it! You undermine him.

CYRANO He made his uncle pull strings to promote him! He shouldn’t be the captain!

ROXANE Your time will come.

CYRANO Not likely.

ROXANE Maybe his uncle will get him promoted again.

CYRANO Probably will.

ROXANE And then it’s yours!

CYRANO It’ll just go to someone else. You know how it works.

ROXANE So, because it’s hard, you’re going to be bitter, and pick a bunch of fights?

CYRANO It’s not fair!

ROXANE No, it’s not, but get over it! Do something!


ROXANE Beating people up doesn’t make them like you.

CYRANO You weren’t there. You didn’t see him. He—

ROXANE What? What did he do?

CYRANO Nothing. Nevermind.

ROXANE Just do your job, do it well, and it’ll all work out.


ROXANE Maybe slower than you’d like, but show too much ambition, and they’ll pass you by.

CYRANO This is stupid.

ROXANE Seriously.

(They laugh.)

You might consider taking a vacation.

CYRANO And go where? Everyone I know is here. Besides, my nose is so large Customs detains me at least an hour per inch.

ROXANE Cyrano! You need to get some fresh air. I think going away would be good for you. And Montfleury.

CYRANO Are you on his side?

ROXANE He’s an ass, but—

CYRANO If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you liked him.

ROXANE Who? Montfleury? Don’t make me nauseous. There’s—well—

CYRANO There’s what? Who?

ROXANE Nothing, I—

CYRANO No, no, no! There’s what? There’s who?

(LIGNIERE enters.)

LIGNIERE How come you get to stay?

DONNA Ssshh.

LIGNIERE What are they talking about?

DONNA Girl trouble.


DONNA Aunt Flo. Shark Week. Rag Time.


(LIGNIERE exits.)


ROXANE No one.

CYRANO I don’t believe you. There’s someone.

ROXANE Don’t be ridiculous.

CYRANO I’m not! Look at you smile!

ROXANE Leave it alone. I daresay it’s just a crush.

CYRANO You “daresay?”

ROXANE (Laughing) Yes, I “daresay!”

CYRANO Share with me.

ROXANE No, it’s embarrassing. And it’s not like they reciprocate.

CYRANO They might! They could even be waiting to hear from you.

ROXANE And you’re such a knowledgeable cupid, are you?

CYRANO I’m just saying I know the feeling.

ROXANE You do? So, my Cyrano has a crush, too?

CYRANO Possibly. I’ll tell you if you tell me.

ROXANE Are we six?

CYRANO Does that mean we have a deal?


ROXANE Deal. I think I like someone.

CYRANO Only think? Only like? Sounds like just a friend.

ROXANE Right now, yes! But I want more.

CYRANO So you love them?

ROXANE One could say that.

CYRANO Then why don’t you?

ROXANE All right! Yes! I…

CYRANO You’re avoiding the word!

ROXANE Yes, because they don’t know! It can’t be real if the other person doesn’t know.

CYRANO Not for certain, you mean. You need to make them certain!

ROXANE Not yet! But I think they’ll figure it out soon enough.

CYRANO Perhaps they already have.

ROXANE I don’t know about that. They’re still quite young in spirit, though they’ve experienced a lot. I feel as though they love me, though they’ve been timid. And all has been from afar! I don’t know. It’s not an easy conversation to have, for multiple reasons.

CYRANO So you’ve been waiting for them to confess this love to you?

(CYRANO reaches into her pocket, where the letter is stowed.)

ROXANE Desperately. I swear I’ve seen their lips tremble when close to mine.

(ROXANE and CYRANO are close together.)

But I think their position in the company, and proximity to me, especially now, has made things simultaneously better and worse.

CYRANO What if I could tell you they feel the same as you? That they love you? What would you say to that?

(LIGNIERE enters.)

LIGNIERE They’re still talking?

DONNA Get out!

(LIGNIERE hurriedly exits.)


DONNA Oh! Hi! Uhm… I just forgot—uh—this!

(She picks up something arbitrary near her.)

Don’t mind me.

ROXANE All right.


Shouldn’t you be going?

DONNA Right! Right. Now that I have—this—I can go back—to—what I was doing. Right. Bye.

(She exits. CYRANO and ROXANE laugh.)

CYRANO Donna is so… weird.

ROXANE But she means well. Probably just keeping tabs on us.

CYRANO Probably.

ROXANE She fancies you, you know. You’re her favorite.

CYRANO She’s been your best friend longer.

ROXANE That’s not how I mean.

CYRANO Then how do you mean?

(ROXANE looks to CYRANO, but decides against continuing the conversation.)

ROXANE I don’t know.

(ROXANE reaches out and holds CYRANO’s hand. She leans on her.)

Remember when we were little, and we used to play pretend? You and Ligniere would play fight each other, as enemy armies. He’d attack, and you’d defend. I’d bring a cart to the front lines to feed you and your imaginary soldiers.


ROXANE But don’t forget, Donna would put the food in my cart.

CYRANO And that one time she fell off the cart, and hit Ligniere right in the face!

ROXANE She didn’t fall, she…


ROXANE Nothing.


I wish it was like then. Simpler. It wasn’t hard to love back then.

CYRANO I loved you. Still do.

ROXANE I love you, too.

(They share a moment.)

If only it could be that easy with Christian.

CYRANO Christian?



ROXANE You’re upset.


ROXANE He’s only a cadet, I know. I should be looking at someone with more rank, to settle down with… but I have all the time in the world for that! He’ll get promoted soon enough, I’m sure. You know?


ROXANE Are you surprised? Surely you’ve noticed all the time he and I have spent together this week.

CYRANO Surprised? Not at all.

(CYRANO touches the letter in her pocket.)

ROXANE What is that?

CYRANO Hmm? This? Oh, well, uh—

ROXANE It’s from Christian, isn’t it? You asked what I would say if the one I loved loved me back— you’ve spoken to him already!

CYRANO Not at length.

ROXANE Give me his letter.

CYRANO I don’t think he—

ROXANE Oh, don’t be such an old maid!

(ROXANE takes the letter from her.)

CYRANO Roxane! Please. That letter—


(She reads it.)


CYRANO I know. But—

ROXANE This is beautiful.


ROXANE I’ve never been so moved by mere words.

CYRANO You… really?

ROXANE The voice upon this page is captivating. I’m in love.


ROXANE Truly! Christian has such a beautiful soul!

CYRANO Yes, Christian. Right.

ROXANE Cousin, I know you to be a poet, but even you can’t hold the flicker of a candle to Christian. Look at this letter! Read it!

CYRANO I’m familiar with it.

ROXANE But he’s never spoken like this before to me. Is he poetic with you?

CYRANO Less poetic language, more poetic justice.

ROXANE Do you two even talk?

CYRANO You saw me with him before; we’re not even friends!

ROXANE Then how did you come by this?

CYRANO We seem to have similar interests.

ROXANE Do you think you could talk to him about me? Get him to open up in person?

CYRANO If I spend any more time with him, he’ll think I like him.

ROXANE What’s wrong with that?

CYRANO Everything.

ROXANE Please, Cyrano? For me?


CYRANO For you, I’ll befriend the little baron.

(LIGNIERE enters.)

LIGNIERE Sorry to interrupt, but we have company. Montfleury. Again. He was surprised to see me.

ROXANE Where’s Christian?

LIGNIERE Dealing with Montfleury.

ROXANE You left him out there? Cyrano, go get him!

(ROXANE shoves Cyrano to the door. CHRISTIAN enters.)

Out of my way!

(She shoves CYRANO aside.)

CYRANO Make up my mind!

(MONTFLEURY enters.)

LIGNIERE Montfleury! So nice to see you!

(LIGNIERE moves away from MONTFLEURY.)

MONTFLEURY Lombardi! I heard you and this little girl got into a scrap last night. I feel awful. If only I had stuck around here long enough, I may have been able to help.

CYRANO We handled it just fine without you.

MONTFLEURY I can’t say I’m surprised. You’re of a thick stock, after all.

CYRANO If you only came to check in on us, consider us beat, not beaten, and be on your way. Captain.

MONTFLEURY Alas, my work is never done. I’m afraid I have bad news. Just came in this morning.

CYRANO You mean the news hit right after you heard Ligniere and I survived?

LIGNIERE What news?

MONTFLEURY It looks like our company is being summoned to commit a few good men to the latest cause.

ROXANE I have the feeling “men” is a loose term. How many is a few?

MONTFLEURY I’m reviewing the numbers requested, but it’ll probably be only a few select members. Can’t say quite yet.

CYRANO I bet you could.

MONTFLEURY I volunteered us for the effort. It’s of particular note, as they need a band of people to divert the enemy while the main force invades.

CYRANO A distraction?

MONTFLEURY Indeed. It’ll be a short mission, but—

CYRANO It’s a suicide mission.

MONTFLEURY That’s… a perspective.

LIGNIERE You volunteered us for suicide?

MONTFLEURY Your words, not mine. And only a few of you. Thought you’d like to know.

(MONTFLEURY goes to exit.)

ROXANE Montfleury, wait.

(He turns back to her.)

May I speak with you a moment?

MONTFLEURY I don’t think I can stay, I—


MONTFLEURY I could make time for a walk. Care to join me?

ROXANE I’d love to.

(ROXANE turns away from MONTFLEURY, and calls out, supposedly unheard by him.)


(DONNA appears, seemingly from nowhere.)

DONNA Care if I follow?

ROXANE What a great idea! We’ve both been cooped up for so long. Is that all right? Women always travel in twos, you know.

DONNA Pairsies!

MONTFLEURY No problem at all. Christian, Limousine. Cyrano.

(The three of them exit.)

LIGNIERE We get a notice that a few of us are going to be sent to die right after we survive an ambush?

CYRANO Subtle, isn’t he?

LIGNIERE Probably hasn’t even told the others.

CYRANO Good point. You should go tell them.

LIGNIERE What’re you going to do?

CYRANO Christian and I are going to bond.



(CYRANO and LIGNIERE exchange a look.)

All right. I’ll go tell them. Have… fun.

(LIGNIERE exits.)

CHRISTIAN That was awkward.

CYRANO So’s this.

CHRISTIAN Who do you think will be going?

CYRANO Depends if he wants to keep to protocol. Or if he wants to be a—well, a Montfleury, and make a point.

CYRANO & CHRISTIAN Probably the latter.

CHRISTIAN So he’d send you?

CYRANO And Ligniere.

CHRISTIAN What does he have against you?

CYRANO It’s a long story, for not a lot of difference.

CHRISTIAN Are you nervous?

CYRANO Not in the least. It’ll be good to escape. He won’t be sending himself, so that’ll be a nice reprieve. What about you? It’d be your first time out if you managed to make the cut.

CHRISTIAN Nervous is a good word, I think? I don’t know. We just got the news, so…


CYRANO I’m sorry.


CYRANO Earlier today. And every day. I shouldn’t be so hard on you

CHRISTIAN I get it. I’m new.

CYRANO It’s not that, uhm… it doesn’t matter. Your father was a good man.

CHRISTIAN You knew him?

CYRANO Of course. Served together. What happened… wasn’t his fault. You’re lucky to be his son.

CHRISTIAN Thank you.

CYRANO Too bad he still owed money to the state, though. You shouldn’t be forced to—

CHRISTIAN He didn’t owe any money.

CYRANO Sure he did. He said—

CHRISTIAN My grandfather owns land all over. We have plenty of money.

CYRANO But your dad said—

CHRISTIAN He worried people would think he was privileged, so he said he joined to pay off a federal loan.

CYRANO Then why are you here?

CHRISTIAN I don’t know. Just seemed like the thing to do. I want a make a difference, you know?

CYRANO That’s some straight-up Hallmark stuff.


CYRANO Nothing.


Well, it’ll be nice to leave. Get away from everything. And it’s not like I have anything to stay for.

CHRISTIAN What do you mean? There’s Donna, and Roxane. And Roxane is pretty attractive.

CYRANO So you’d prefer to stay here with her?

CHRISTIAN I mean, yeah, if I’m already going to be here, might as well see her.

CYRANO (Gets carried away) Might as well? Might as well? You shouldn’t spend time with someone just because you can. You either like being with them, or you don’t; and if you float in between, you don’t deserve them.

CHRISTIAN That didn’t come off how I meant it.

CYRANO I bet it didn’t.

CHRISTIAN I don’t just see her, or anyone, as filler. She’s beautiful. And I don’t mean on the outside.

CYRANO So she’s ugly?

CHRISTIAN No! Her outside is great! I mean her inside!

CYRANO You talk of her like she’s a house to decorate and fill.

CHRISTIAN I’d love to fill her house.


CHRISTIAN Nothing. I need to go.

CYRANO What do you want from her?

CHRISTIAN Nothing. I was just trying to say that I’d love to… never mind. This is stupid.

CYRANO Love to what?

CHRISTIAN It doesn’t matter!

(He goes to exit.)

CYRANO Roxane loves you.

CHRISTIAN What are you playing at?

CYRANO Nothing, but the truth.


CYRANO There’s nothing more dangerous, and I don’t play at it idly.

CHRISTIAN She told you this?

CYRANO And more.

CHRISTIAN Why? Who cares why? How long has she felt this way?

CYRANO Since she read your letter.

CHRISTIAN What letter?

CYRANO The one she took from me that I said was from you.

CHRISTIAN What kind of letter?

CYRANO A love letter. Mostly poetry.

CHRISTIAN So she thinks I’m a poet?

CYRANO The best.

CHRISTIAN Well, that joy was short-lived.

CYRANO No! She loves you for who she thinks you are, and adores all the more the words she thinks are yours.

CHRISTIAN But if she expects those words, she’s not going to like the garbage that comes out.

CYRANO You’re not so bad.

(They share a look.)

Yeah, you’re awful.

CHRISTIAN You could teach me!

CYRANO Teach you what? Poetry?

CHRISTIAN Yes! She loves your words, so just teach them to me!

CYRANO It’s not that easy.

CHRISTIAN Is it different because this would be for Roxane?

CYRANO That helps, actually.

CHRISTIAN She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

CYRANO Soothing to hear.


CYRANO Gentle in one moment, rigidly cunning in the next.

CHRISTIAN So pretty.

CYRANO With a great capacity for crazy.


CYRANO A healthy level.

CHRISTIAN Who? Not Roxane, but—oh! You mean your love?

CYRANO Uhm—yes. I mean, a love can’t be all face, and no body.

CHRISTIAN Depends on the face. Whose body are you talking about?

CYRANO What? Uh—no one.

CHRISTIAN Come on. Tell me! Does he know you love him?

CYRANO No. He’s not interested, he’s a she, and she’s my cousin. It’s complicated.

CHRISTIAN Even with poetry?

CYRANO That can’t overcome some things.

CHRISTIAN Like what?

CHRISTIAN Like you don’t know.

CHRISTIAN I don’t know what—

CYRANO Don’t lie!

CHRISTIAN About what?

CYRANO (Referencing her nose) This!

CHRISTIAN It’s not that bad.

CYRANO I once killed a man with an Eskimo kiss. Beyond this moai, my skin is rough, my hourglass has no sand...

CHRISTIAN It’s not the size of your nose that matters, but what’s inside. Wait. I mean—

CYRANO See? Everyone does it. It just happens! I’m a joke, not a… Do I look like someone who has admirers? Someone who gets looks from across the room? Someone you’d even think to give flowers, or ask on a walk? Do I look like—




CYRANO No! I’m not! I’m more Adonis than Madonna, less Adonis than Achilles, and all the more the heel.

CHRISTIAN I don’t know what that meant, so it was probably really clever.

CYRANO Just… nevermind.

CHRISTIAN How can I help?

CYRANO You can’t. No one can. Just… leave. Please.



(He goes to exit, but then doesn’t. He decides, instead, to sit by CYRANO.)


CHRISTIAN Not being someone else doesn’t mean that you aren’t beautiful.

CYRANO I told you to leave.

CHRISTIAN Just because you said it doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

(They sit in silence for a moment. CHRISTIAN gives CYRANO his coat, places his hand kindly on hers, or otherwise makes it known nonverbally that he’s there for her.)

CYRANO I can see it.


CYRANO Nothing.

(They share a moment.)

You’ll never win Roxane over sitting here with me.

(CYRANO gets up, and goes to exit.)

Well? Aren’t you coming?

CHRISTIAN You mean you’ll—

CYRANO Come on! Walk, and talk. Let’s get this started before I change my mind.

(They exit.)

Scene Four

SETTING: another place. TIME: the same as the scene before.

(MONTFLEURY, ROXANE, and DONNA enter together.)

ROXANE What’s it been? Three months since we’ve talked just the two of us?

(DONNA coughs.)

Three of us?

MONTFLEURY Well, we’re not kids anymore. Though, I had hoped to catch you alone, and pretend we weren’t so old, just yet.

ROXANE I understand, but Donna and I get so little time, and I had already promised the day to her.

DONNA I’m needy.

MONTFLEURY Seems we’re all spread a little thin.

ROXANE Not as thin as your “men” are about to be. I hear the journey over the border is trying.

MONTFLEURY To be frank, I don’t expect them all to live. But they’ll be provisioned well enough for the trip over.

DONNA And what about the journey back?

(MONTFLEURY laughs a little, but doesn’t respond.)

ROXANE How many will you be sending over?

MONTFLEURY I’m thinking only a couple. It’ll be an honor to those selected.

DONNA They always say that to those about to die.

ROXANE If it’s only a couple people, why send anyone at all?

MONTFLEURY So that’s what you wanted to talk about.

ROXANE It’s a perfectly acceptable question.

MONTFLEURY People have to be sent; I can’t prevent that.

DONNA Are you even going to try?

MONTFLEURY You’re just upset because you’re afraid I’ll send Cyrano.

DONNA You mean you won’t?

MONTFLEURY Of course I will.

DONNA Why? Because you have some sort of grudge? Because people like Ligniere think Cyrano should’ve been promoted instead of you?

ROXANE Donna, please—

DONNA You treat Cyrano differently than any man in the company, despite her proving to be better at every turn. And you’re probably plotting to send Ligniere, because he knows—

MONTFLEURY Precisely. She’s the best I have, so she has to go. And Ligniere will accompany her, as they have always been partnered together. It’s logical, not emotional, or, least of all, irrational.

DONNA Don’t lie to me, you sour-faced—

ROXANE Donna. Perhaps you could give the captain and me some privacy?

DONNA So you two can continue to talk about Cyrano like she’s some kind of game piece?

ROXANE Please.

DONNA Have it your way. The both of you. You usually do.

(DONNA exits.)

MONTFLEURY Your friend is excitable.

ROXANE She has her reasons. But she’s right.

MONTFLEURY Not you, too!

ROXANE Armand. You’re not sending Cyrano just because she’s the best you have.


ROXANE So don’t send her to die!

MONTFLEURY Cyrano made her bed, and now she’ll sleep in it.

ROXANE No one sleeps where they make their bed.

MONTFLEURY She’s been nearly treasonous.

ROXANE Yes, nearly! But not fully!

MONTFLEURY That’s your argument?

ROXANE She’ll get better!

MONTFLEURY No, she won’t! She was warned. She persisted!

ROXANE You’d praise anyone else as courageous!

MONTFLEURY And some of those courageous men will be sent, too.

ROXANE Yes! Good! Then you don’t have to pick those two.

MONTFLEURY What do you want me to do? Defy the Cardinal’s wish?

ROXANE It’s your wish.

MONFTLEURY This isn’t just me!

ROXANE But you choose who to send!

MONTFLEURY I can’t tell the Cardinal I chose to keep the best at home! And what would you have me do? Keep them here? Keep them safe for you?


MONTFLEURY What would I say?

ROXANE Say they’re sick. Say they’re training cadets. Say anything at all!

MONTFLEURY We may have been close before, but I can’t do this for you.

ROXANE “Can’t” and “won’t” are different words.

MONTFLEURY I have to send people.

ROXANE And if it helps you…

MONTFLEURY Precisely. It’s how things work.


ROXANE Right! You’re right. I just wish there was another way.

MONTFLEURY There isn’t.

(He goes to exit.)

ROXANE At least they’ll come back war heroes.


ROXANE If they come back, I suppose. It won’t be a long campaign, you said?

MONTFLEURY Well, no. It’s only meant to hold off forces for a moment, and then retreat.

ROXANE Which would mean they’d come right home, victorious.

MONTFLEURY If they survive.

ROXANE Which Cyrano and Ligniere might. They have before.

MONTFLEURY I mean, sure, but—

ROXANE So, they’ll get to come back lauded for none of the work. You’d be doing them a favor, really.

MONTFLEURY I don’t think—

ROXANE And yourself.


ROXANE A successful guerilla tactic? One more notch in your belt would be good on paper.

MONTFLEURY But if I only send a couple people, it’d be a failure.

ROXANE So send a couple more, and secure the victory.

MONTFLEURY That doesn’t mean Cyrano and Ligniere will survive. It doesn’t mean any of them will. There’s a good chance they won’t come back.

ROXANE And Cyrano’s been gnawing at the chance to get a promotion. Surviving this would be exactly what she needs to get it.

MONTFLEURY I—hadn’t thought of that.

ROXANE Silver linings, you know.

MONTFLEURY Yes... silver linings…

ROXANE I’ll go tell her the good news.

(She goes to exit.)

MONTFLEURY Wait! Uh—I mean, let me break it to her.

ROXANE It might be better coming from me.

MONTFLEURY Yes, but I forgot a couple things that have to get done once they’re deployed, and you know how these things are rarely as easy as they say.

ROXANE Oh. You’re not thinking of not sending her, are you?

MONTFLEURY Maybe. Maybe not.

ROXANE But you have to send her now! She’s expecting it! She’s looking forward to it!

MONTFLEURY We can’t forget that she needs to be reminded of her position. I can’t reward her with a potentially easy mission. She needs to be tried and tested.

ROXANE She’ll be awfully upset if she can’t go.

MONTFLEURY It might be for the best.

ROXANE Especially if she has to stay with the cadets.

MONTFLEURY The cadets?

ROXANE Someone will have to watch them.

MONTFLEURY Well, sure. I can’t send all of them over…

ROXANE Whatever you think is best, Armand.

MONTFLEURY Do me a favor: keep quiet about this. I don’t want people to hear one thing, and then it not be true, etc. You understand.

ROXANE It’ll be our little secret.


MONTFLEURY I’ve missed spending time with you, Roxane.

ROXANE It’s not our fault we took different paths. Time has a way of changing things.

MONTFLEURY Not everything has to change.

ROXANE It already has.

MONTFLEURY Are you seeing anyone now?

ROXANE Oh! Well… the last one was you.


ROXANE I admit to having feelings.


ROXANE I dare not say.

MONTFLEURY You dare not say a word. I understand completely.

ROXANE You do?

MONTFLEURY I’ve sensed it.

ROXANE Oh. I’m sorry, I—

MONTFLEURY Don’t apologize. The heart wants what it wants, and I’d be lying if I said mine didn’t want it, too.


(DONNA re-enters.)

DONNA How are things here?

MONTFLEURY Solidified. You don’t need to worry; Cyrano and Ligniere will not be sent to war.

DONNA Montfleury!

(She hugs him.)

Wait. Why am I hugging you? Why the change of heart?

MONTFLEURY I’m feeling generous.

DONNA Who will you take, then?

MONTFLEURY A few of the others. I don’t need many. A couple senior officers and cadets, I think.

ROXANE Not many, I hope? Wouldn’t you want them to keep training?

MONTFLEURY I’ll only take a few, like the un-married ones.

ROXANE The unmarried ones? Wait, don’t you think—

MONTFLEURY No need to split spouses for this. But—

ROXANE But it’ll be dangerous! You said yourself people could die! Seems harsh to send un-married cadets, knowing so many are so young—their lives would be stinted!

MONTFLEURY It may be unfair, but—

DONNA Not if an unmarried senior officer lead them as an example.

MONTFLEURY I—well, I could—

DONNA I would imagine you would want to show them the courage you expect. What a better way than to lead them into this potential victory.


DONNA Then it’s settled. They’ll only go if you do.

MONTFLEURY Or another un-married senior officer.

DONNA Wouldn’t it be better if it was you?

DONNA & ROXANE The Cardinal would love that!

MONTFLEURY He might have reason enough not to send me.

DONNA You’re the highest ranking un-married man in the company! It’ll be expected! Unless you—

MONTFLEURY Get married. Yes. Well! I should be on my way! Many plans to make. Roxane… I’m going to stop by later. You’ll be at your home?

ROXANE Uhm—what? I mean, yes. Why?

MONTFLEURY (He kisses her hand) You’ll see. Until then… Good night, to you both.

(He exits.)

DONNA You don’t think…?

ROXANE We were engaged once. Remember?

DONNA So you managed to keep Cyrano at the cost of sending Christian, and having to marry your ex?


DONNA Great.


How are you going to fix this?

ROXANE He can’t send Christian or marry me if Christian is married to me.

DONNA You’re going to marry Christian?


DONNA Has he proposed to you?

ROXANE Not yet.

DONNA It’s going to be a long night, isn’t it?

ROXANE We have to find him.

DONNA Right now?

ROXANE Love waits for no man, and even less for a woman!

(ROXANE exits.)

DONNA But you just met him!

(DONNA exits.)

Scene Five

SETTING: outside, near a home. TIME: moments after the scene before.


LIGNIERE Well, I told them.

CYRANO Are they excited?

LIGNIERE They seem to find a death sentence more like a challenge.

CHRISTIAN It’s simple, though, right? You’re just going to divert attention.

CYRANO There’s no point in fighting when it’s so simple.

LIGNIERE They weren’t complaining about that. Their main concern, oddly, is they don’t want to have to leave just to come right back.

(MONTFLEURY enters.)

MONTFLEURY Gentlemen! Just who I was looking for.

CYRANO What do you want now, Captain?

MONTFLEURY Ah, Cyrano. I missed your dulcet tones.


I need you to deliver a message to them.

LIGNIERE I just got back from delivering your message.

MONTFLEURY Then go back and tell them it’ll be mostly un-married cadets and senior officers.

LIGNIERE Why do I always have to go?

CYRANO I’ll go.

MONTFLEURY I’d prefer not. You won’t be going, so it would be odd to have you tell them.

CYRANO I’m not going? I always go.

MONTFLEURY Evidently not.

CYRANO I’m a senior officer. I’m certainly not married, and I—

MONTFLEURY I need someone to continue training the others here.

CYRANO You mean babysit them.

MONTFLEURY If you prefer.

CYRANO What gave you this bright idea?

MONTFLEURY Don’t you worry your pretty little head. Enjoy the time off. Find something to do; take up a hobby! Learn to cook. I bet you’d really fill out an apron.

CYRANO Excuse me?

MONTFLEURY Relax! People are put off by those who are so job-oriented. I think that’s your problem. I mean, look at Roxane—

CYRANO Roxane? God, not you, too…

MONTFLEURY In fact, I’m planning a little surprise for your cousin.

CYRANO She doesn’t like surprises.

MONTFLEURY She’ll love this one. I just need to pop by to see my uncle.

CYRANO What does the Cardinal have to do with anything?

MONTFLEURY Everything. It’ll be a good thing for you, too. Once we’re cousins, I’m sure he’ll help find you a man away from all this.

CYRANO Cousins? As in—

MONTFLEURY No more time to chat. I have a future to grab by the—well, you know.


CHRISTIAN Does he mean he’s going to the Cardinal to get an edict to marry Roxane?

CYRANO You know the word “edict?”

CHRISTIAN I read. I thought Roxane was single.

CYRANO For a few hours, at least.

CHRISTIAN What do we do?

CYRANO Pray we find Roxane first.

(ROXANE and DONNA enter.)

ROXANE Cyrano!

CYRANO That was easy.

ROXANE Christian! Fancy stumbling onto you here!

DONNA (Aside) We were looking for him.

CYRANO What were you two doing walking way over here?

ROXANE I like long walks.

CYRANO You hate long walks.

ROXANE We—were just on the way to my house!

(ROXANE indicates the house nearby.)

DONNA That’s not your house.

ROXANE Are you two done?

(To Christian.)

Of course this is my house!

(She finally looks at it for the first time.)

Oh, God. Well, at least it has a balcony.

(To the others.)

Did I see Montfleury leave here?

CHRISTIAN Yeah. He was in a bit of a hurry.

CYRANO To see his uncle.

ROXANE Ah. So you know.

CYRANO You’re marrying him?

ROXANE I can’t if I’m married already.

CHRISTIAN Someone else proposed?

ROXANE Not yet.


CHRISTIAN Are you asking me to marry you?

ROXANE Don’t be ridiculous! The man has to ask the woman.

CHRISTIAN But I have to go to war tomorrow.

ROXANE How romantic!

CHRISTIAN It’s not logical.

ROXANE He’s only sending cadets who aren’t married. We could kill two birds with one stone.

CYRANO (Aside) How romantic.

ROXANE Cyrano showed me your letter! You already write of love. Let me hear you speak it. That’ll suffice.

CHRISTIAN Oh! Uhm. I love you!

ROXANE Yes, that’s the theme. Vary it.

CHRISTIAN I…I love you so!


CHRISTIAN And…I’d be so glad if you would love me.

ROXANE I read your poetry. Untangle those knotted sentiments! Let it forth from your throat!

CHRISTIAN Your throat—I’d kiss it.

ROXANE Christian!

CHRISTIAN I love you!


CHRISTIAN No! I mean I don’t love you. No—

ROXANE Maybe it’s best if you don’t. C’mon, Donna. Let’s go home.

(ROXANE goes to exit.)

CYRANO Didn’t you say this was your house?

(ROXANE looks at the house, and glares at CYRANO.)

ROXANE Yes. I did.

(ROXANE reluctantly approaches the door, and knocks.)

CYRANO Why do you have to knock if you live there?

ROXANE I—forgot my key.

CHRISTIAN Maybe it’s unlocked?

ROXANE I guess I could check.

(She opens the door successfully.)

Well. Look at that. Good day.

(ROXANE enters the house, hesitantly. DONNA, left outside, goes to open the door, but it’s now locked. She knocks. ROXANE opens the door, and she exits into the house.)

CYRANO Good work.


CYRANO Obviously.

CHRISTIAN I told you, I’m no good at this. I need you!

CYRANO You needed to stop her from going inside.

CHRISTIAN I can get her back out here. I’ll just toss a pebble at the window until she comes out.

CYRANO Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

CHRISTIAN If you’re so smart, you do it!


CHRISTIAN Speak for me. I’ll call out to her, and you’ll whisper the words to me once I have her attention.

CYRANO I think that sounds better in your head than in your mouth.

CHRISTIAN Do you have a better idea?

CYRANO Have you considered celibacy?

CHRISTIAN Cyrano! Please! I don’t need Adonis or Achilles; I need Cyrano.


CYRANO Call her out.

CHRISTIAN Thank you!

CYRANO But for the record, this is an awful idea!

CHRISTIAN Roxane! Roxane! Please! Just give me one more chance!

(To Cyrano.)

I look pathetic.

CYRANO You are pathetic.

(ROXANE enters from the balcony.)

ROXANE You wanted to speak with me?

CHRISTIAN Uh—well—yeah, I—

ROXANE You speak stupidly.


ROXANE Why would I? You said you don’t love me.

CHRISTIAN (Prompted by Cyrano) I love no more? Why, I love more and more!

ROXANE Well, well. That’s a trifle better.

CHRISTIAN (Prompted by Cyrano) “A trifle better” is a truffle this pig will take.

(To Cyrano.)


ROXANE I should leave you down there to rot. You promise me poetry, then propose with poor prose.

CHRISTIAN (Prompted by Cyrano) As would be deserved. Please, turn back, and I shall remain.

ROXANE Remain for the sake of my absence?

CHRISTIAN (Prompted by Cyrano) For the sake of your possible return.

ROXANE There’s no promise I’d come back, and no promise of acceptance if I did.

CHRISTIAN (Prompted by Cyrano) Only the promise I would be here if you did.

(To Cyrano)

This is so easy. I got this.

CYRANO Christian! No!

CHRISTIAN Sshh! It’s fine. It’s just taking a word and making a new sentence, pretending to be clever, yadda yadda. I got this.

ROXANE Perhaps I’ll stay. But only for a moment. The air is nice.

CHRISTIAN It is affected by that which it touches.

ROXANE I would hope no one would describe me as “nice.”

CHRISTIAN “Nice” is as nice a word as any.

ROXANE Therefore it is as plain as any, and any who are described as “nice” are often considered plain to those who describe them. It’s a mark of not being well-known.

CHRISTIAN Are you saying you’d prefer to be well-known to me?

ROXANE It might be “nice.”

CYRANO Not bad.


ROXANE Know what? Me? Already?

CHRISTIAN That—is to say we’re so similar, that to know myself is like to know you.

ROXANE One could argue one can never truly know oneself.

CHRISTIAN That’s because “oneself” lacks the identity of “myself.”

ROXANE But from myself to yourself, there is a vast difference of identity.

CHRISTIAN Semantics!

ROXANE One could argue life is semantics.

CHRISTIAN “One,” or “you?”

ROXANE “Semantics.”

CHRISTIAN That’s—semantics.


CHRISTIAN Semantics are—uhm

CYRANO Easy! You’re stumbling!

ROXANE What? Losing your ground?

CHRISTIAN I can’t lose it; I’m on it.

ROXANE You can only be truly grounded when you’ve fallen over.

CHRISTIAN You want me to fall?

CYRANO Use it! “Fall” for her!

CHRISTIAN As I fall for—

ROXANE You fall upon yourself, and ask that I walk over you.

CYRANO Tell her you lay yourself to be graced by her feet!

CHRISTIAN Feet—they’re yours—and I lay myself—

ROXANE Better to lay yourself than think you might lay me.


Roxane You are beaten, sir. Your love is too anxious, and the heart you have beats too quietly.

CYRANO Love’s beating, anxious heartbeat leads on this wanton boy.

CHRISTIAN Love is a beating,

The heart is anxiety;

This boy wants wontons!


CYRANO Out of the way, Paris, you’re burning.

ROXANE Your words are hesitating.

CYRANO (Imitating Christian) Night is coming, and my words can’t find their way.

ROXANE My words aren’t hindered.

CYRANO For they have already found their home: my heart.

ROXANE Clever.

CYRANO Logical, too, for the words of your mouth descend, while mine strive to mount.

ROXANE Are you saying you strive to mount my mouth?

CYRANO I am not so base, though my intentions are basic.

ROXANE You admit to your intentions?

CYRANO I’d rather be honest and refuted, than false and adored.

ROXANE Respectable.

CYRANO As much as is before me.

ROXANE You seem different now.

CYRANO I am merely more myself.

ROXANE You should always be so honest. It suits you.

CYRANO This suit is not my own.

ROXANE Then be like the tailor, and fit it.

CYRANO My cloth is not worth the touch of shears.

ROXANE Such humility.

CYRANO Such flattery.

ROXANE Given to any man who is worthy.

CYRANO I am no man.

ROXANE Excuse me?

CYRANO Man of worth! Not to you, gentle child. And though my pride forbids I take the least bestowal from your hands, my fear of wounding you leads me to accept.

ROXANE Such pride. You and Cyrano are more alike than you know.

CYRANO Do I remind you of her?

ROXANE Less fair, and more handsome.

CYRANO Yet she would stand to vow to your fair qualities.

ROXANE Because it’s hard for one to see their own.

CYRANO She would blush to hear you speak.

ROXANE Because she knows not the weight of her own words. She is thunder that gives way to rain.

CYRANO What of your light, as you are as the sun?

ROXANE There is no place for the sun amidst the storm.

CYRANO Then what shall she do?

ROXANE Find the earth, for it can harbor the water, and echo the thunder. What could my light provide, when it parts the clouds, and dries the storm?

CYRANO Nothing.


ROXANE Have I offended?

CYRANO You have given insight.

ROXANE You sound changed.

CYRANO All the more myself.

ROXANE And does this self have room for the sun?

CYRANO The self you seek is that of wistful wind. Your light can be harsh, and he is cooling. He can feel too cold, but you offer warmth. I would say the self you seek, that of a distant “me,” is ready.

(CYRANO looks to CHRISTIAN, and bids him swap places.)

ROXANE In that case, let us preserve the change, but the shorten distance.

CHRISTIAN You’ll come down?


(She begins to exit into the house, but stops.)

No. You’ll come up here.

CHRISTIAN I’ll be right in.

(He makes for the door.)

ROXANE No! Climb up.

CHRISTIAN Using the door would be simpler.

ROXANE Scaling the balcony would be a better story.


CHRISTIAN She can’t be serious.

CYRANO You want her? Go get her.

(CHRISTIAN looks about the space. He constructs a ladder of objects to climb up to ROXANE.)

ROXANE I knew you had it in you.

(They kiss. LIGNIERE enters.)

LIGNIERE What are you doing on my balcony?

ROXANE Ligniere! So wonderful to see you!

CHRISTIAN You live here?

ROXANE We’re roommates.

LIGNIERE No, we’re not.

ROXANE Oh, Ligniere! Always with the jokes. What do you want, roomie?

LIGNIERE Come see, roomie.

(He holds a letter.)

ROXANE What is it?

LIGNIERE Best if you read it for yourself.

(ROXANE comes down, and takes the letter.)


ROXANE It’s from the Cardinal. He approves of the wedding, and is asking for it to be done this very evening.

CHRISTIAN Not wasting time, is he?

CYRANO How did you get this?

LIGNIERE Montfleury asked me to deliver it to you. I thought I’d pop home quick first… I didn’t expect you here.

CHRISTIAN But why so suddenly?

LIGNIERE They move out tomorrow for the front lines. Montfleury, of course, will be there.

CHRISTIAN And he’s worried he won’t come back?

(DONNA has re-entered from LIGNIERE’s house, unbeknownst to the others.)

DONNA He thinks he’s coming back a war hero. Add to that being a married man, and he’s set for another promotion. You know how it works.

CHRISTIAN So what do we do?

ROXANE Like I said, he can’t marry me if I’m already married.


CHRISTIAN But you’re not married.

ROXANE Not yet.

CHRISTIAN But you will be as soon as he gets here.

ROXANE Unless someone else marries me.


DONNA You, you clod!

CHRISTIAN Oh! That would work out pretty well, wouldn’t it?

ROXANE We just have to find a priest, and a couple odds and ends.

LIGNIERE Look no further.

DONNA You’re a priest?

LIGNIERE A pastor. Picked it up while serving with the company. Sometimes you need the Good Book on the open road. And I’ve got a few things we can use inside. C’mon.

CHRISTIAN How convenient!


Never dull around here, is it?

(CYRANO and DONNA laugh.)

DONNA Are you all right?

CYRANO Never better.

DONNA You can’t lie to me.


CYRANO What do you want me to say?

DONNA Anything honest. It couldn’t have been easy to do what you did, speaking for Christian like that.

CYRANO I don’t know what you’re talking about.

DONNA Oh, please. I could tell it was you. Frankly, I’m sure Roxane could, too.

CYRANO Then why go with it?

DONNA The heart wants what it wants, and we make excuses so it can have it.

CYRANO Well… as long as they’re happy.

DONNA And what about you?

CYRANO Happiness isn’t for everyone. I find that a little bitter can take you a long way.

DONNA And a little love?

CYRANO What would I know about that?

DONNA Says the poet!

CYRANO I write about it, because I don’t have it. I also don’t know about it, because I don’t have it.

DONNA So, you give voice to it, because you don’t know about it?

CYRANO Doesn’t everyone?


DONNA Did you really love her?

CYRANO I don’t know anymore.

DONNA (Making fun of him) She’s too sunny for your rain?

CYRANO That was a good metaphor!

DONNA You’ve made better.

CYRANO But it works! She’s attractive. Which is, like, hot, right?

DONNA That’s what the kids say.

CYRANO But what else does she have to offer?

DONNA Money. Family. Conversation.

CYRANO But the sun, a star, only gives light. Heat. Which is nice at first, but burns over time. It doesn’t feed. It doesn’t house. It doesn’t make a home.

DONNA So your love is superficial.

CYRANO Because she is!


I didn’t mean that.

DONNA Yes, you did.

CYRANO Yes, I did. I mean, look at what she’s doing! She’s in that house getting ready to get married to someone she barely knows. Who does that? Superficial people! This is some Romantic Era bullsh—


CYRANO You disagree?

DONNA No, but she might hear you!

(They laugh together.)

CYRANO I’m not saying I don’t love her in a way, I just—

DONNA Need more.

CYRANO I need realism.

DONNA Says the romantic.

CYRANO Modern, not classical.

DONNA A love that’s a friend.

(They look to one another, and share a moment. MONTFLEURY enters.)

MONTFLEURY Cyrano! Where is she?

CYRANO Me? Right here.


CYRANO Have you tried her house?

MONTFLEURY Don’t get smart with me. I’ve just been, and no one was there. Any idea where she’s run off to?

CYRANO Not a clue. You seem in a hurry.

MONTFLEURY Quick things are afoot.

DONNA Then you mustn’t dawdle. Try her father’s work; she might be there to walk him home.

MONTFLEURY That’s clear across town!

DONNA I didn’t say it’d be easy.

(MONTFLEURY takes a moment to decide, then sighs, and begins to exit. Just as he goes to leave, ROXANE enters from the house.)

ROXANE I think we have everything ready. We’ve had to make do with some nontraditional items, but—


ROXANE (Finally seeing him) Oh! Montfleury! Hello!

MONTFLEURY Cyrano, you knew she was here?

CYRANO I’m just as shocked as you! Donna and I were just taking a walk until you stopped us here.

ROXANE How fortunate I could run into all of you here, then!

MONTFLEURY You have no idea how fortunate. Roxane, I have great news for you: you’re getting married!

ROXANE How—unexpected!

MONTFLEURY I know it’s fast, but after our little talk I spoke with my uncle, and two letters were penned: we leave tomorrow for a brief war display with a few unmarried officers, and the cadets; and a writ of approval from the Cardinal for our marriage.

CYRANO So you wouldn’t have to risk suicide?

MONTFLEURY That’s a timely benefit.

ROXANE I don’t know what to say.

(CHRISTIAN enters from the house, carrying food.)

CHRISTIAN Thought we could use some food to celebrate!

MONTFLEURY What are you doing here?

CHRISTIAN I’m here for the wedding.

MONTFLEURY You heard about it already?

CHRISTIAN Well, of course, I—

ROXANE Christian has excellent hearing. Christian, could you go inside and get Ligniere and tell him Montfleury is here?

(LIGNIERE enters from the house, holding a bible.)

LIGNIERE Roxane and Christian circa whichever year this is. Let’s get hitched!

ROXANE Ligniere!





ROXANE I can explain.

MONTFLEURY Libation, I send you to get Roxane ready for our marriage, and you marry her off to someone else?


ROXANE Not yet.

MONTFLEURY Since when are you two in love?

CHRISTIAN Since today!

MONTFLEURY Do you even know him?

ROXANE Of course I know Christian, and I’m proud to become Mrs… What’s your last name?

MONTFLEURY C’mon, Roxane. Let’s get to a church.

LIGNIERE I’m marrying her here!


ROXANE I’m marrying Christian.

MONTFLEURY You said before that you’d marry me!

ROXANE I said no such thing!

MONTFLEURY You practically did.

ROXANE It’s not my fault that what you wanted to hear isn’t what I said.

MONTFLEURY Shut up, and come with me!

(MONTFLEURY grabs ROXANE, and pulls her to exit. CYRANO draws her sword and stops him.)

CYRANO Back off, and let go, you water-backed booby.

MONTFLEURY I’ll let go.

(He releases ROXANE.)

But I won’t back off.

(He draws his sword.)

I’ve tried to leave you alone, Cyrano, but I won’t let you take her from me.

CYRANO I’m not taking her from you; I’m keeping you from taking her. Ligniere, start the ceremony.

CHRISTIAN With you two dueling?

ROXANE It’s like we’re in a cheap novella. It’s perfect! Do it!

(As LIGNIERE performs the ceremony, MONTFLEURY and CYRANO duel. They are constantly moving, as MONTFLEURY seeks to get ROXANE or stop LIGNIERE, and everyone tries to avoid the swords, and MONTFLEURY’s reach. It is chaos, yet perhaps melodramatically glorious.)

LIGNIERE Dearly belovéd, we are gathered here today in the sight of God—


LIGNIERE —to join this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony.

(DONNA is moving the food out of the way of the fighting.)

DONNA More like an edible arrangement.

LIGNIERE Instituted by God, signifying unto us the mystical union of Christ and his Church: which holy estate Christ adorned—

CYRANO Skip ahead!

(While LIGNIERE is flipping through his cards.)

A word in your ear, Sir Spark, I steal,

Better to lay you low, in hip, or paunch!

Ho for the music of clashing steel,

All for a performance to make you kneel,

For at the envoi’s end, I touch!

LIGNIERE Cana of Galilee… commended of Saint Paul… Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined! If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or forever hold his peace.

MONTFLEURY She’s promised to me!

DONNA We don’t have a traditional ceremony prepared.

CHRISTIAN You barely know me.

ROXANE You could be sent to war at any moment.

ROXANE & CHRISTIAN Nope! Keep reading!

LIGNIERE Christian, do you take this woman, Roxane, as your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?


LIGNIERE Roxane, do you take this man, Christian, as your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?



LIGNIERE What man gives this bride away?



LIGNIERE Good enough. Donna, the rings!

(MONTFLEURY attempts to step in and prevent the exchange, but CYRANO stops him.)

CYRANO You wriggle white, my eel!

Pray Heaven for your soul’s weal.

(DONNA throws LIGNIERE doughnuts.)

LIGNIERE With these rings, I thee wed.

CHRISTIAN Nothing says love like an intertube of sugar.


LIGNIERE I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.

(ROXANE and CHRISTIAN kiss. MONTFLEURY watches in anguish. In anger, he lunges at CYRANO, but DONNA intervenes, taking the hit. She falls to the floor.)


(There is a solemn moment. DONNA sighs. She’s winded.)

DONNA I’m fine.

(She withdraws a split loaf of bread from her person.)

But he unbraided the challah.

(MONTFLEURY goes to exit.)

ROXANE Armand…

MONTFLEURY Let me go. Please.

ROXANE Would letting you go mean to allow you to take Christian?

MONTFLEURY The writ is sent. No new cadets shall go to the effort.

CHRISTIAN Thank you.

MONTFLEURY I do not do it for you. My hands are tied with your fingers.

(He looks to ROXANE, and she understands.)

I should prepare the soldiers. And myself.

(He goes to exit.)

ROXANE Montfleury—

MONTFLEURY Please. I pray you. Give me leave.

ROXANE But what of you now?

MONTFLEURY I go to the front lines. I must.

ROXANE And when you return?

(He looks to her.)


(She goes to embrace him.)

MONTFLEURY Leave me be. I need nothing from those with nothing to give.

ROXANE Armand—

MONTFLEURY You have my blessing. The last I afford.

(He looks around the room, rests his gaze upon ROXANE, and exits.)

CHRISTIAN That brought the mood down.

LIGNIERE Don’t worry about him! You’re married! Go be married!

CHRISTIAN Don’t have to tell me twice.

(CHRISTIAN pulls ROXANE to the house, teasing.)

ROXANE Where are we going?

CHRISTIAN Your house.

ROXANE Oh. Right. I don’t live here.

CHRISTIAN I thought you and Ligniere were roommates.

LIGNIERE No, no, no. I’m single and not near ready to mingle.

CHRISTIAN I really don’t know you at all, do I?

ROXANE Not a bit.

ROXANE & CHRISTIAN How exciting!

ROXANE Let me show you a few things…

(ROXANE leads him offstage. LIGNIERE looks to CYRANO and DONNA. He senses something between CYRANO and DONNA.)

LIGNIERE Well. I think I’ll head inside. I have a few things to do that… aren’t here. If you need me, I’ll be… not here.

(He exits into the house. Beat.)

CYRANO And then there were two.

DONNA I guess that means everything worked out, huh?

CYRANO Looks that way.

DONNA Must’ve been hard to watch her get married.

CYRANO My eyes were a little distracted.

DONNA Yeah. I bet.

(She picks up two cupcakes from the stash of food and hands one to CYRANO.)

So, now what?

CYRANO Life resumes. I’ll go back to the company. With Montfleury gone, someone has to keep the place running.

DONNA Sounds like a full-time job. Not going to have time for us regular folks, huh?

CYRANO I don’t know. Montfleury was able to get away pretty often.

DONNA To see Roxane. Daughter of nobility. Who would you visit?

CYRANO There’s one person.

(She thinks she’s crossed a line.)

I mean, like, Ligniere. Friends, of course.

DONNA Ah. Of course.

(They look at each other for a moment in silence, waiting for the other to say something.)

CYRANO Well. I had better get going.

DONNA Yeah. Wouldn’t want to stay out too late.

CYRANO Yeah. Good night, Donna.

DONNA Bonne nuit.

(CYRANO goes to exit.)



CYRANO That’s the third time you’ve saved me.

DONNA All unintentional, I swear.

CYRANO Yeah. We might have to talk about it if it was on purpose.

DONNA Wouldn’t want that… but if I did, what was the third time? I know just now, and with those mercenaries, but—

CYRANO When we were children. Play fighting. Remember?

DONNA You and Ligniere were always hitting each other with sticks.

CYRANO You weren’t so disapproving then. I recall a time you leapt out of a toy carriage to keep him from beating me once.

DONNA Children do strange things, and think strange thoughts.

CYRANO What of adults?

DONNA Generally, they become duller. Sometimes, they become stranger.

CYRANO It’s funny… I always thought you and Ligniere were—you know.

DONNA (Laughs) He wanted us to be.

CYRANO Then why aren’t you?

DONNA I don’t want to be. Not my type.

CYRANO And that would be?

DONNA Oh, no one you’d like. Hot-headed. Stubborn. A face for bird-watching.

(CYRANO shys away.)

Only very small birds! And she has a golden heart, silver soul… and is truly the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.

(They laugh. They are close.)

CYRANO I don’t know that I can believe you. With people like Montfleury, I—

DONNA Not everyone is a Montfleury. Most aren’t.

CYRANO But he’s right. The way I look… my nose—

(DONNA shoves a cupcake into CYRANO’s mouth.)

DONNA If your nose so was big, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.


CYRANO Want to sit with me, awhile? And watch the birds?

DONNA I’d love to.

(They sit together, looking up and out to the world. DONNA wipes a bit of pastry off CYRANO’s face, and eats it. They laugh together. The lights fade to black.)