Actor Corey DiNardo, who plays Christian in the upcoming Fringe show Cyrano on the Moon.
Today’s Fringe File installment is a Q&A with actor Corey DiNardo, who plays Christian in Red Dice Collective’s production of Cyrano on the Moon. This ongoing series looks at the assorted people who make Fringe shows possible, onstage and off.
You moved to the Twin Cities in 2013. What brought you here?
I graduated in 2013 and knew I needed to get out of Ohio if I wanted to work as an actor. New York was too expensive and Chicago seemed kinda dirty, so the Twin Cities it was!
How long did it take you to do your first show? What was your role and what company was it with?
The first play I did was Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams. It was with Six Elements Theatre in the winter of 2013/2014. The first actual acting gig I got, however, was working a 6-month contract with CLIMB Theatre – that started almost a month after I moved here.
When did you first hear about the Minnesota Fringe Festival?
I first heard about the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2014.
When did you do your first Fringe show, and what was it?
I auditioned and was cast in Bang-Bang! Miss American Pie by Cristina Castro. To this day, the producer of that show and I are still best buds.
You play Christian in Red Dice Collective’s upcoming production of Cyrano on the Moon. The source play that Monica Cross adapts, Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, is one of the most famous on-stage love stories – but it’s not taught or staged as often as it used to. How did you first encounter Cyrano?
I actually hadn’t seen or read that play before getting cast in this production. I had heard of it, but never experienced it. In preparing for the role of Christian, I watched the French film version with Gerard Dépardieu and I am currently reading a translation of Rostand’s original text.
Cyrano awakens in the afterlife to engage in one last battle against the Vices and Corruption of Man, as Roxanne struggles to reconcile his tumultuous legacy and her love.
How did you end up in this play?
I went to the Fringe Unified Auditions and Mason Tyer (the director – I knew Mason previously due to my experience in the Twin Cities’ stage combat scene) invited me to callbacks, and from there, I was cast.
Many actors work some odd jobs over the years – some onstage, some off. What’s one of the oddest things you’ve done for work?
I got a job through one of the temp agencies in the Twin Cities and was given a one-day job of counting people. No joke: I was given a clicker in each hand, placed in a little vestibule near the sidewalk, and counted the number of people coming in either direction. The point was so that whoever leased the building could charge more or less depending on the amount of foot traffic.
What’s a favorite aspect of this play?
The swordfights, duh.
One of the plot points of Cyrano on the Moon is that it’s an afterlife experience. Things didn’t exactly go smoothly between Cyrano and Christian (your character) right before Christian died. On a scale of “shrinking into the corner” to “desperately setting the place on fire”, how awkwardly does their reunion go?
I’d say it’s about a “hand-wringing and avoiding our true feelings and, oh shit, we’re sword-fighting now”.
How would you describe the experience of seeing Cyrano on the Moon? Who should come see it?
Essentially, it’s a story about love, friendship, the choices we make, nuns in space…and sword-fights. Classical theatre nerds will likely love it. But really, you don’t need to know much about the original text to enjoy it.
What’s coming up for you after Fringe?
I actually have two very exciting opportunities coming up, but I haven’t been given the go-ahead to talk publicly about them yet. One of them is a classic American play from the 1930s and the other is a Shakespeare play. Both are coming up in the fall/winter.
Basil was named one of Musical America's 30 Professionals of the Year in 2017.