The Northeastern Theatre Ensemble, one of two Equity-affiliated resident theatre companies in Scranton, PA, will offer the world premiere of Joan, a "wild romp through the history of France, medieval weaponry and the trial of the famous Maid of Orleans."
The new work by Donna Kaz, the company's new artistic director, is a theatricalization of Joan of Arc's world, acted by six young performers. Kaz, a New Yorker, is artistic associate at the York Theatre Company in Manhattan.
Joan plays Feb. 3-13, 2000.
The rest of the season by TNT (the company's recent new abbreviation) includes the area premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown, directed by Los Angeles director-teacher Laura Henry (Oct. 21-31) and Donald Margulies' Collected Stories (April 6-16, 2000).
A season "preview" party and benefit fundraiser will be held Aug. 15, with Broadway lyricist Susan Birkenhead being honored with a mini-concert of her work, at which she will speak, 4 PM Aug. 15 at Patsel's restaurant in Glenburn, PA. The performance will include work from Jelly's Last Jam, Triumph of Love and the forthcoming The Night They Raided Minsky's, her collaboration with Charles Strouse expected for Broadway in 2000.
Scranton's other company with an Equity affiliation is the Pennsylvania Summer Theatre Festival.
TNT executive director Elizabeth Feller-Markowitz told Playbill On-Line the company's 99-seat flexible space is in the Scranton Cultural Center, a former Masonic Temple. The company uses special appearance contracts with Equity.
She said the shows draw crowds from Wilkes-Barre, the Poconos, Scranton and Northeastern Pennsylvania, thus the "Northeastern" name.
Artistic director Kaz said there will be a focus on staging new works and works by recent contemporary playwrights, although the company has always tried to stage works other than mysteries, comedies and other staples of community theatres.
Single tickets range $6-$16.
For season tickets, call (888) 669-8966, or for TNT information, call (570) 969-1770.
-- By Kenneth Jones