George Bernard Shaw wrote “Saint Joan” in 1923, just a few years after Joan of Arc was canonized. When the Nobel committee awarded Shaw the prize for literature in 1925, they noted Saint Joan to be, “marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty.”
Junior Julia Fiori reflects on her experience participating in the show:
I am extremely proud of this show. This is truly a work of love, passion, and commitment to the life and legacy of Joan of Arc, patron Saint of France and renowned hero of the Hundred Years’ War. Throughout this process, we explored the modern day connections, historical influence, and symbolism of this story.
To me, this play is not just about the life and death of Joan of Arc; it’s about the impact that a young woman can have when she fights for what she believes in. Actually, there are five of these young women—Joans—in this play. Each of our Joans represent a different stage in her life and her experiences as she literally fights for the freedom of France and later, her life.
But in the end, no matter whether we play Joan, one of the characters who sentence her to death, or are running lights in the booth, each of us are Saint Joan at heart (think “I am Spartacus!” but “I am Joan!”—aka our t-shirt design).
As we explored this theme in our rehearsal process, we discovered much about ourselves, our view of the world, and who Joan is to us. Each of us found our own version of Joan and what she means for the causes that they fight for. Whether we are inspired by the activism of a young Joan in student activist Emma Gonzalez, in Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or in Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad—we have all become inspired by these amazing women and their achievements in striving to accomplish what they believe in. Joan, quite frankly, “is up and alive everywhere.”
Waynflete is excited to take their abridged version of George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan” to the Maine Regional One Act Festival this weekend! Join us at Lawrence High School on Saturday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m.