Johanne d’Arc Theatre Production
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October 24 - November 2, 2013
Thursday - Saturday, Wednesday - Friday, 7:30 pm
October 26 and November 2, 2:00 pm
Directed by Joseph Frost, Theatre Chair.
A dynamic visionary telling of the story of Joan, the peasant girl called by God to lead the fight against the English to reestablish the French throne, eventually betrayed and put on trial for heresy. * This is a World Premiere Production.
General Admission $10; Seniors/Students $5. Complimentary admission for Belhaven Faculty/Staff/Students and immediate families. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance.
Watch the entire production of Johanne d'Arc.
Devising a piece of theatre is often a frightening process - coming into a rehearsal room with very few elements predetermined (no text written at all), foolishly hoping that the way will present itself, and with enough time left to accomplish it. While we are satisfied that we have included so many aspects of her inspiring story into the performance of our play, it is perhaps the process of creation itself that is the most honoring of the faith and boldness of young Johanne d’Arc.
Johanne, the patron saint of France and of martyrs, was a young girl when she heard voices that called her to the work of the Lord. She was blessed with two things that made her capable of that task, an unwavering faith and an unspoiled ignorance. A person who understood the intricacies of 15th century international politics would not be likely to be on the side of the Dauphin. A person who understood military strategy would be unlikely to take such direct battle tactics, which succeeded exactly because of their foolish boldness. A person who understood the splintered and treacherous state of the church at that time would have been unlikely to trust it to understand the simplicity of her faith. Being a person who was not aware of any of those things, Johanne was uniquely capable of believing the message from the Lord that she would lead the forces of France against the English and crown a king.
This combination of faith and ignorance is not unlike the story of David agreeing to face the giant Goliath; the other soldiers in the camp had seen and feared this Goliath, and were reluctant to trust God when faced with a giant. But David knew his God more than he knew his enemy, and it was that certainty that made him bold.
The journey we have taken through our rehearsals; from research, to improvisation, scripting and revising, has been a surprising one. Even through the times of highest anxiety ("We open in 3 weeks and we still don’t have a script!!!"), I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a production team as relaxed, responsive, open, and confident as the cast and crew of Johanne d’Arc. We hope and pray that this story, through our way of telling, is able to inspire and speak to you -- our audience and community.
Joseph Frost is an Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre and the head of Arts Administration at Belhaven University. He lives in Jackson with his wife, Shannon and children, Nina, Darby, Emory and Baby #4 TBA (due Dec 1). Joseph holds an MFA in Script and Screenwriting and an MA in Theatre Acting/Directing from Regent University, and a BA in Communication: Theatre and Broadcasting from Malone University. His directing resume includes works by Shakespeare, Ionesco, Chekhov, Eliot, Brecht and Churchill, as well as the world premieres of Grass Huts in Heaven by Sandra Holcombe, his own plays DisEase, Braids, and The Playhouse, Kurt Gerstein by Paul Patton, and a performance adaptation of Ecclesiastes. Joseph is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and a board member of the Fish Tale Group Theatre. He was recently appointed as the head of the New Works Initiative for Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA), which will encourage new play development. Joseph is the Mississippi State Representative to the board of directors of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) from the Mississippi Theatre Association (MTA), and he is the artistic director of the floodlight theatre company.
When I first learned that Joe Frost would be devising a play about Joan of Arc, I knew that I absolutely had to be a part of it somehow. So when he asked me to help him do the historical research, I was honored and excited. I’ve always had a strange sort of affinity for the story of Joan, an almost emotional attachment, so I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to delve further into it, and learn more about The Maid of Orleans.
The role of the dramaturg is varied, and depends on where they’re working. In some companies, they are the ones who choose the scripts and create the season, some places they do the cuts to the script, and some research the history and prior productions of the play itself. Some do what I did for this show, doing the historical research to ensure that justice is done to the setting and characters. The one common thread through this is that they are there to connect the script, director, actors, and playwright.
My role with this show specifically was doing the historical research. Before the rehearsal process began, I read through the transcript of the trial to learn what I could about Joan. During rehearsals, I gave the cast a brief history of the Hundred Years War, and the events and background of Joan’s life. I was also on hand to look up any details they needed. In the end, what we have created is what I feel is an honest representation of Joan and her life and accomplishments. These ladies have put a lot of hard work into this, and it has paid off; the end result is powerful.
Written By Alexander Fortin
Alexander Fortin is a senior History major, with minors in Theatre and Creative Writing. He is from northern Georgia, and has been involved in the theatre for nine years in various roles, from acting to set construction to stage management. This is his first time working as a dramaturge, and has enjoyed this opportunity to merge his love of theatre with his love of history.
|Directed by||Jospeh Frost|
|Technical Director||Rebekah Bert|
|Scenic & Lighting Designer||Kris Deitrich|
|Sound Designer||Doc Davis|
|Costume Designer||Nadine Grant|
|Stage Manager||Lauren Tobin|
|Assistant State Managers||Jasmine Calvert & Adam Dunnells|
|Mother, Priest, Questioner, Soldier 1, Another Assistant||Elizabeth Hurlbert|
|Catherine, Leader, Assistant, Burgundy Soldier1||Morgan Johnson|
|Lassois, Roux, Soldier 2, Fourth Interrogator, Bailiff, And Yet Another Assistant||Frannie Maas|
|Bishop, Baudricourt, Villager||Madison Parrott|
|Michael, Second Interrogator, Master, Burgundy Soldier 2||Emily Polson|
|General, Marie, Guard, Burgundy Captain, First Interrogator,
Yet Another Assistant
|Margaret, Dauphin, Third Interrogator||Alexia|