Featured Artist: Monica Cross (Arcane Arts)

This Featured Artist is Presenting:

Cyrano on the Moon

Can you describe how you go about making your work?

Cyrano on the Moon is the first one act play that I have written. I wrote it last year, and workshopped it at the Sarasota Area Playwright’s Society. I am in the midst of rehearsals with an amazing group of Sarasota based actors. I am directing, designing, and producing my own work. While I usually have my hand in every aspect of production when I direct, this is the first time that I am adding Playwright to my list of credits.

What’s drives you as an artist/company?

I am interested in the stories we tell and why. Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is one of my favorite plays, but after watching it over and over again while I was housing managing for a company doing the show, I began to find the ending unsatisfying. So I started to write my own. Once I have figured out the why, then I become obsessed with the How! I love finding creative solutions to complicated staging issues.

How did you begin making work?

I always start with a new perspective. What would happen if… Then I explore this new perspective on whatever my subject is. I work a lot with adaptation. So there is always a source behind what I write.

One thing our readers might not know about you?

I am the Technical Director of the Black Box Theater at New College of Florida. New College built the Black Box in 2010 and hired me in 2014. Since this theater at New College has been growing at an exponential rate, but most people still don’t know that New College is doing theater. I love to work that I do there and the students that I work with.

One thing our readers might not know about your work?

Cyrano on the Moon is based on Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac. But audiences that might not be familiar with the story don’t need to worry. My play uses Cyrano and the cast of character, but it is primarily about romanticism and the pitfalls of romantic ideals. Cyrano waits until his dying moments to tell Roxanne that he has loved her his whole life. This play allows Roxanne to respond to that. So if you have ever felt like the sappy ending of a romance just didn’t quite fit with how you feel healthy relationships should work, this show is for you, whether you know who Cyrano is or not.

What do you most like about the work you will present at this year’s festival?

The actors are bring so much to these characters. I love the play that I have written, but I love even more the way Don, Jenny, Sandra, Jan, and Zach have brought these characters to life.

Why should audience members choose you?

First of all, this show takes place on the moon. Second, there is brandishing of swords. Third, there are adorable nuns.

Artist in a Nutshell

  • Artist/Company Name: Monica Cross (Arcane Arts)
  • Show: Cyrano on the Moon
  • From: Sarasota, Florida
"I write what I want to see. So to get to stage that and share it with others in an amazing experience."

Have you ever performed in a fringe Festival before?

Have you ever been to Florida or Tampa before?

What are you most looking forward to about your visit?

I am already kind of local, being in Sarasota, but I am excited to see all the exciting theater that happens at the Fringe.

Why did you choose the Tampa Fringe?

I was trying to figure out what to do with this thing that I had written and I had a few local actors in mind for the part. So when Tampa Fringe was announced it was a perfect venue for this show.

What do you hope to get from presenting on the Tampa Fringe?

I am ecstatic to get to share something that I wrote with other people. I write what I want to see. So to get to stage that and share it with others in an amazing experience.

Describe the context of your work and where you come from?

I started studying Shakespeare. In fact I have a Masters and an MFA in Shakespeare and Performance. But I also have a love for the post modern and science fiction. I am not sure Cyrano on the Moon is science fictions or not. You should come see it and tell me if it is.

Where is home and what is it like?

I am in Sarasota. As I mentioned, I work at New College, but I also teach at USF St. Pete. So I cross the bridge regularly. I have been back to Sarasota for three years, but New College is also where I went to school. I love the area. Sarasota has so much art and theater and circus!

Anything else you would like to say?

I am so grateful to have this opportunity. I am excited to be a part of the first Tampa Fringe, and I am thankful for the collaborations it has made possible for me.