Introducing Ashley Juniper McKelvie as "Cuigy/Cadet/Poet/Sister Marguerite" in Cyrano de Bergerac

Another week, another entry in our Debuting Artist blog series! OpenStage is home to many incredible artists, some who have worked with the company for years and others who are brand new. This week we introduce Juniper McKelvie, playing Cuigy, a Cadet, a Poet, and Sister Marguerite in Cyrano de Bergerac


Tell us about yourself! Where you’re from, your hobbies, past work, fun facts, or anything that comes to mind!
I grew up in Steamboat and have since traveled and lived all over. I've studied acting formally, but I mostly draw from my many passions and past experiences for my acting. Horses are one of my passions, and I love spending time with them. Horses have amazing, huge hearts and they are the best authenticity coaches! They force you to be present and true to yourself because if you aren't, they sure let you know it! They don't let you be on autopilot for more than one second. Riding also teaches you to be aware of your rhythm, timing, and balance. It's some of the best training for acting!
What made you decide to audition for Cyrano? What was the audition like?

The show sounded like swashbuckling fun!

Tell me about the characters you play in the show.

I play a few characters, but two of them are based on real people we know from historical records. One is Cuigy who was a fun-loving, stylish upper class man whose father was in the Parisian Parliament. The other is Sister Marguerite. The abbess founded the convent of the Daughters of the Cross in Paris, located near the Bastille. Marguerite was rich, well-connected and beautiful, and she kept her societal connections even after entering religious life. It's interesting to play two characters with such different traits. Cuigy lives in the moment, for pleasure, and he's very snobbish. He avoids responsibility and loves to gossip. Of course that's fun to play! Sr. Marguerite enjoys taking responsibility and directing people to do as she sees fit. She's clearheaded, powerful, and measured in her thinking and actions. I enjoy playing that kind of character too because you have to get grounded and trust your inner stability.

How has your experience with OpenStage been so far?

The cast is a jovial bunch and I like how we make each other laugh. I also appreciate how caring and supportive everyone is. Life is still plenty complex thanks to Covid and the general unraveling of society as we know it. But everyone has rolled with the punches and contributed positive energy that helped us continue even when it seemed like we were one sneeze away from having to cancel.

What is your favorite thing about acting?
Getting to live in the moment. Acting is doing, not thinking. Or, as one of my acting teachers always says, "Action and impulse are one." It's the best feeling once I stop second guessing my instincts and simply let emotions and actions flow through me naturally. It's a full-bodied experience of life!
What can audiences look forward to in Cyrano de Bergerac?

The swashbuckling fun!

Do you have any upcoming projects after Cyrano?
I'm a writer too, so I'm always working on new plays. I have a few scripts I'm working on right now that I'd like to finish by the end of the year. I'm also casting off into a more nomadic lifestyle as soon as this play closes (literally the day after !) So my next project is trying to decide if 1) my costume closet can fit in my suitcase or not, and 2) if I really need need to travel with my costume closet. Hmmm. Only way to find out is trial and error...

Come see Juniper and the rest of the cast in Cyrano de Bergerac, playing through July 30th!

Cyrano de Bergerac

Directed and Adapted by Judith Allen

July 8 – July 30, 2022

A sophisticated turn of phrase ... or ... a pretty face? Which will Roxane choose?

Larger than life Cyrano—soldier, philosopher, poet and adventurer—is in love with the resplendent Roxane. Hampered by his self-perceived lack of beauty due to his absurdly large nose, Cyrano offers handsome fellow cadet, Christian, his poetic mastery of language to woo his beloved Roxane. As she falls under the spell of Cyrano’s beautiful letters, believing they are coming from Christian’s beautiful face, war propels the love triangle beyond whimsical antics into love and heartbreak. Full of wordplay and swordplay, as well as the most famous nose in history, Cyrano is a night of comedy, mistaken identity, and romantic tragedy under the stars. Walk-in, bike-in, or drive-in! Featuring nightly food trucks.