The Northeastern Theatre Ensemble in Scranton, PA, will put its faith in the world premiere of Joan, a "wild romp through the history of France, medieval weaponry and the trial of the famous Maid of Orleans," Feb. 3-13.
The new work by Donna Kaz, the company's new artistic director, is a theatricalization of Joan of Arc's world. The play aims itself at a young, teen audience and tells St. Joan's story using words from her letters, chronicles of the time and testimony of her trial.
Six young performers play a world of European characters. The piece is active, punchy and movement-driven, Kaz told Playbill On-Line. "It's comic," she said, "but it's also moving. We don't change the ending. But it does feel contemporary."
Kaz, a New Yorker, is an artistic associate at the York Theatre Company in Manhattan.
Joan plays Feb. 3-13 (opening Feb. 4), with a non-Equity company including James McMenamin, Christy Meyer, Dina M. Piepoli, Darcie Siciliano, Catherine Maddox and Butch Stevenson. *
The rest of the season by TNT (the company's recent new abbreviation) includes the upcoming staging of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories (April 6-16). The season opened with the area premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown, directed by Los Angeles director-teacher Laura Henry, Oct. 21-31, 1999.
The troupe's 99-seat flexible space (The Shopland Theatre) is in the Scranton Cultural Center, a former Masonic Temple. The company generally uses special appearance contracts with Actors' Equity Association.
The theatre draws crowds from Wilkes-Barre, the Poconos, Scranton and Northeastern Pennsylvania, thus the "Northeastern" name.
Tickets for Joan range $6-$16. TNT is at 420 N. Washington Ave., in Scranton. For information, call (570) 344-1111.
-- By Kenneth Jones