So, what is it about this time?
This show is about Joan of Arc—a story everyone sort of knows, or knows something about anyway. Everyone certainly knows how it ends, which I like—it means that everything that happens will feel like an irrevocable tragic advance toward a preordained ending.
Like Here Lies Love, this one is almost all contemporary music with very little spoken text, though this time around the music is more anthemic and "spiritual" rather than the clubby disco grooves of Here Lies Love. The main character in both pieces is a well-documented historical figure. In fact, Joan's trial was the first to be so well documented—so there was a lot of that trial's testimony to draw on. (There was another trial, as well—one that involved a lot of oral history from those who knew her.) There was actually a lot of primary research to work with! On stage, imagine a singer—a contemporary young woman—backed by her inspired band, ultimately immolated at the end of her concert.
Why this story now?
Why has this story endured over centuries and been made into so many plays and movies? Because it's about someone—a nobody, a teenage girl—who inspired others to act, to overthrow their oppressors and take charge of their lives. She transforms from an innocent, into an androgynous warrior, and finally a martyr. Joan's story is about the power of the individual to make a difference and (for me) the hubris and sometimes oversteps that often go along with that. In other words—it's completely relevant.
Who else is involved and when and where can you see it?
I had a great time doing Here Lies Love, so I'm working with much of the same team on this one. It will open next spring at The Public Theater here in New York with Alex Timbers, who did Here Lies Love, directing; Clint Ramos, who also worked on that show, doing the costumes; Justin Townsend, another Here Lies Love alum, doing lighting; Steven Hoggett, who did Black Watch, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Let The Right One In doing movement; and Christopher Barreca, who did Chronicle of a Death Foretold, doing the set. A great team, to say the least!
I'm very excited about the whole thing!
New York City
May 19, 2016