This week’s blog comes from Bedlam’s Saint Joan actress Dria Brown.
Dria Brown here of Bedlam’s Saint Joan. I spent last winter in beautiful Naples performing The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson under Kristen Coury’s fantastic direction. I will be returning in a week to do another play centering the life of another revolutionary woman- Joan of Arc.
Upon hearing the name Joan of Arc, many of us find it hard to believe that this isn’t a legend or some fantastical myth. We can’t imagine that such a young girl could have the wherewithal to achieve what should have been unattainable in her time. In the era of, as I like to call it- the rise of the matriarchy – this story doesn’t feel so far fetched anymore to today’s viewers. Joan is about the best and the worst in religion and nationalism, and while there are no villains (Shaw’s words, not mine), it pokes at the very fabric of our morals, both past and present.
What makes this play so timeless? Written in 1923, so many of its themes are relevant today. It is no secret that we live in a world where women are still fighting to be heard, believed, and given a chance to lead. Joan is a testament to the importance of having a purpose-driven life that requires no permission to galvanize your inner troops.
When we meet Joan, she is a teenage girl who claims to have visions of Saint Margaret, Saint Catharine, and the archangel Michael. They are sent to Joan by God with direct orders: to drive the English from France and to raise the siege of Orleans and then to crown the Dauphin at the cathedral in Rheims. She follows this calling by any means necessary and persuades soldiers, kings, and bishops alike to join her cause, and when they all turn their backs on her….well, the stakes are high at this point (pun intended).
We do theatre a little differently at Bedlam. The play has a total of 24 characters, and we’re going to do it with four actors. You, our audience, will be just as much a part of the journey as we are. With minimal costumes and set be prepared to hear well-crafted arguments, four actors having a ton of fun, and hopefully leave thinking, “there IS something about this girl.”
Tickets to Bedlam’s Saint Joan are available for purchase at https://www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org/2019-2020-season/bedlams-saint-joan/