After the success of our 2016 production of Twelfth Night, the A.B.L.E. Ensemble is thrilled to return to Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier this spring. The actors, 21 young adults with Down syndrome and other developmental differences will take the stage with an original adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s classic story about love and war, courage and heartbreak - Cyrano de Bergerac.
Adapted by A.B.L.E. co-founder and Artistic Director, Katie Yohe, the script has been tailored to the individual strengths of the ensemble. Infused with humor, music, and swordfights, Cyrano offers many opportunities for the cast to showcase their diverse talents. Cyrano explores deeper themes such as inner and outer beauty, "otherness", unrequited love, loyalty, and friendship, all of which hit home for any teenager, but especially those with developmental differences. Actors will share roles, with each playing multiple characters, giving everyone a chance to be in the spotlight.
This performance will also mark the final production for two of the ensemble’s founding members, Emily Kwidzinski and Emily Lavin. Both actors turn 22 this year and will graduate from both the Chicago Public School system and A.B.L.E.’s teen ensemble. Inspired by the growth of these founding actors, A.B.L.E. will launch a new ensemble for adults over the age of 22 later this year.