Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism. Rostand is best known for his 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano was a rom-com about a dashing swordsman with a very big nose. The crux of the play is that Cyrano falls for the lovely Roxanne. He believes that she could never love him because of his very big nose. A handsome, none to bright young man falls for Roxanne, too. The love lorn Cyrano decides to help the handsome young man whispering poetry in his ear to recite to Roxanne. Eventually Roxanne see through the rouse, Cyrano gets the girl, and all’s well that ends well.
Rostand’s romantic plays contrasted sharply with the naturalistic theatre popular during the late 19th century. Naturalistic theatre attempts to create an illusion of reality through a range of dramatic and theatrical strategies.
Plays by Rostand attracted famously talented actors. The popular stage actress Sarah Bernhardt starred as Napoleon’s only son in Edmond Rostand’s play L’Aiglon (1900) when she was 55. She played the son, a youth who dies at 21.
In the 20th century Rostand’s work continued to produce hits. His 1884 Les Romanesques was adapted to the 1960 musical comedy The Fantasticks. And likely there will be Rostand plays made into movies in the 21st century and beyond.