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project cyrano world lit

Page history last edited by west0524 9 years, 1 month ago

cyrano adaptation groups


Modern Interpretations Project: Group

Students will work in groups.  You may choose any one of these options, assuming there is enough room.  With any of these project options, you are expected to consider the play and its characters from a variety of current perspectives.  I ask that you not burden yourselves with issues such as plot points and instead rely on what the broader meaning behind the actions may be.  Think of the dialogue and plot as jumping-off points for your own imagination.  Consider the themes on display.  Ask yourself: how will YOUR artistic expression and personal understanding influence the themes we've seen in "Cyrano de Bergerac"?

Your projects will be uploaded onto the class wiki as well as presented in-class. 

No matter which option you choose, you must decide who your characters are.  Consider the major themes and motivations we cover in class: the value of honesty, the definition of beauty, and the nature of love.  For example: is Cyrano a devoted lover, or a fool with an inferiority complex? 

What theme you see in the play is shown throughout the scene you're looking at, and what are you choosing to do with it?  I HIGHLY encourage you to add your own twist to it.


 Instant Messages or Text Messages

Rewrite a dialogue between two characters from the text in modern format as if it took place online through instant messages or on cell phones.  Imagine them to be living today.  What are the characters most concerned about?  Peer pressure?  Loneliness?  Love?  How do their concerns differ from the characters we see in the play, and how are they similar?  As you consider the dialogue for the IM's, look less to what Rostand wrote and more to your interpretation.

     - Example - A series of IM's between Christian and Roxanne in which Christian is very obviously out of his depth.


Create an offline facebook page in the persona of a chosen character.  Fill in all sections, including photos, biographical info, location, etc.  Include at least 3 posts in your character’s voice (modern translation or quoted from the text) that encompasses the highlights and pivotal moments in the play’s plot.  In addition, each post needs at least two other characters’ responses.  How do the posts differ from what we see in the play, and how are they similar?  What do the responses have in common with the play and where do they differ?  

     - This project can also be accomplished using any blog software.  If you choose an alternative blog, it can be done online.  If using facebook, myfakewall is an excellent start.


Rewrite a scene from the play.  You can rename the characters however you wish, but they need to be in the modern day.  You can imagine them as your neighbors, celebrities, etc.  Accompanying this: provide a timeline of the overall plot.  How would the plot change from Rostand’s version given it takes place in the 21st century?  Consider the elements hidden beauty, self-perception, and honesty.




Choose a character from the text and create a playlist that the character would have on his/her iPod.  Invent the name of the playlist, and create a list of the songs, artists, the albums the songs came from, and other relevant details.  Accompanying each song will be a paragraph of justification: where in the text do you see how your character might like this song?  Finally, burn it onto a CD for presentation.

-        A note: if you choose this option, I welcome it!  But you cannot just recite the plot in musical form.  You need to, as you create your playlist, construct a thematic presentation…a soundtrack for the film.  What are the emotions of the music you choose, and how do they fit into the emotions of the scene?






Essay Component (solo):


In addition to your group project, you will compose a brief essay in which you examine a theme from “Cyrano de Bergerac” and relate it to your own education and experience.


Suggested themes are:


Inner vs. outer beauty


Virtue and integrity


Art and culture


Using a theme in Cyrano, you are going to create a personal narrative.  This personal narrative will, in effect, be a cause and effect self-examination.


Consider a time in your own life when you saw one of these ideas at work.  Who do you feel you were, as a person, before this realization, and how did you change as a result?  Examine this “moment of change” carefully and attempt to answer this question:


How have you become you as a result of this event?


A good story creates dramatic effect, makes us laugh, gives us fright, and/or gets us on the edge of our seats.  A story has done its job if we can say, “Yes, that captures what living with my father feels like”, or “Yes, that’s what being cut from the football team felt like.”



            There are a variety of ways to structure your narrative story.  The three most common structures are: chronological approach, flashback sequence, and reflective mode.  Select one that best fits the story you are telling.




            Show, Don’t Tell


            Don’t tell the reader what he or she is supposed to think or feel.  Let the reader see, hear, smell, and taste the experience directly, and let sensory experiences lead him or her to your intended thought or feeling.  Showing is harder than telling.  It’s easier to say, “It was incredibly funny,” than to write something incredibly funny.  The rule of “show, don’t tell” means that your job as a storyteller is not to interpret; it’s to select revealing details.  An easy way to accomplish showing and not telling is to avoid the use of “to be” verbs”.


            Let People Talk


            It’s amazing what you can learn from someone by what they say.  One way to achieve this is through carefully constructed dialogue.  Work to create dialogue that allows the characters’ personalities and voices to emerge through word selection and the use of active voice.


            Choose a Point of View


            Point of view is the perspective from which your story is told.  It encompasses where you are in time, how much you view the experience emotionally (your tone), and how much you allow yourself into the minds of others.  Most personal narratives are told from the first-person limited point of view.  If you venture to experiment with other points of view, you may want to discuss them with the teacher first.




            Tense is determined by the structure you select for your narrative.  Consider how present vs. past tense might influence your message and the overall tone of your piece.




            The tone of your narrative should set up an overall feeling.  Look over your subject that you are presenting and think of what you are trying to get across.  How do you want your audience to feel when they finish your piece?  Careful word choice can help achieve the appropriate effect.



This narrative should be no more than two pages and is due on October 28th.













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