Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (Condola Rashad).
From Peasant to Solider:
Joan of Arc rises from her humble beginnings as a simple peasant girl and becomes a 15th century French military figure as she drives the English out of France guided by voices of the saints in a Manhattan Theatre Club revival of George Bernard Shaw’s classic play.
From the Producers:
Set in 15th century France, Saint Joan follows a country girl whose mysterious visions propel her into elite circles. When the nation’s rulers become threatened by her popularity and influence, they unite to bring her down and she finds herself on trial for her life. This timeless and powerful play dramatizes the limits of an individual in a society dominated by overwhelming political and religious forces.
History of a Saint:
Saint Joan, a chronicle play in six scenes and an epilogue as described by its author George Bernard Shaw, premiered in 1923 and was published in 1924. It was inspired by the canonization of Joan of Arc in 1920, nearly five centuries after her death in 1431. The action of the play follows historical events based on what is known of her life from the substantial records of her trial. The most recent Broadway revival was in 1993 starring Maryann Plunkett as Joan. The production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival. Saint Joan has been adapted twice for the big screen – first in 1927 and again in 1957 starring Jean Seberg and John Gielgud.
Cast & Creatives:
Directed by Tony Winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof, The Heidi Chronicles), the cast of Saint Joan is led by Condola Rashad (daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad) as Joan of Arc, fresh off her Tony-nominated performance in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Other cast members include Walter Bobbie, Adam Chanler-Berat, Jack Davenport, John Glover, Patrick Page, Daniel Sunjata, Maurice Jones, Russell G. Jones, Max Gordon Moore, Matthew Saldivar, Robert Stanton, Lou Sumrall, Ben Horner and Mandi Masden. The production also includes original music by Bill Frisell.
Variety – “Smart, stylish and engaging…playing a part that is as daunting as it is dazzling, Rashad steps into the starring role in a blaze of glory and claims it as her own.”
Entertainment Weekly – “The 1923 vintage of Shaw’s play hardly shows its age in the loose, slightly winky direction of Sullivan. As the second act pivots to grim courtroom drama, Rashad’s girlishness begins to grow into the holy passion and fervor audiences expect from her.”
Newsday – “Rashad makes an intriguing Joan…[she] portrays the teen with a brave mix of doubt, humility and fierce independence.”
New York Times – “Sullivan’s thoughtful if mostly becalmed staging…Rashad brings her usual intelligence and unfussy theatricality.”