(25 pages) – on the arXiv – published in Geometriae Dedicata.

**Abstract:** We consider the relationship between hyperbolic cone-manifold structures on surfaces, and algebraic representations of the fundamental group into a group of isometries. A hyperbolic cone-manifold structure on a surface, with all interior cone angles being integer multiples of \(2\pi\), determines a holonomy representation of the fundamental group. We ask, conversely, when a representation of the fundamental group is the holonomy of a hyperbolic cone-manifold structure. In this paper we build upon previous work with punctured tori to prove results for higher genus surfaces. Our techniques construct fundamental domains for hyperbolic cone-manifold structures, from the geometry of a representation. Central to these techniques are the Euler class of a representation, the group \(\widetilde{PSL_2\mathbb{R}}\), the twist of hyperbolic isometries, and character varieties. We consider the action of the outer automorphism and related groups on the character variety, which is measure-preserving with respect to a natural measure derived from its symplectic structure, and ergodic in certain regions. Under various hypotheses, we almost surely or surely obtain a hyperbolic cone-manifold structure with prescribed holonomy.

- pdf (385 kb)