Goodman Theatre's Joan Dark, by Aida Karic, Will Play Austria Prior to Chicago

News   Goodman Theatre's Joan Dark, by Aida Karic, Will Play Austria Prior to Chicago
Joan Dark, a new adaptation of the story of Joan of Arc involving live music and movement, created by international artists, will premiere in Linz, Austria, this spring before an engagement at Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

The play, created and directed by emerging Bosnian director Aida Karic, with Goodman literary manager Tanya Palmer, will bow June 17-20 at Linz09, a year-long festival devoted to projects in all cultural disciplines.

Joan Dark will have its U.S. premiere at Goodman Theatre Sept. 11-Oct. 11.

"Joan Dark is the result of international director Aida Karic's 15-month residency at the Goodman, during which time she created an adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's Jungfrau von Orleans (The Maid of Orléans), which loosely follows the story of Joan of Arc — a young woman at the center of an endless, bloody war between England and France," according to Goodman.

Expect Karic's Joan Dark to feature a cast of 15 American performers, including seven musicians and gospel singers — "several of whom she discovered while in residence at the Goodman and touring Chicago's neighborhoods and churches to create this piece."

"Aida Karic is one of the most extraordinary young women working on the international stage today," Goodman artistic director Robert Falls said in a statement. "She has quickly made a name for herself worldwide through her muscular, unusual approach to classic texts and compelling stage pictures. We are proud to share this dynamic world premiere with the people of Upper Austria at the prestigious Linz09 Capital of Culture, and with our home town here at the Goodman in the fall." In the play, "Joan is driven by religious fundamentalism and nationalist zeal, and makes a dreadful pact with God to reject her feminine identity and take up the sword to restore France's king at all costs. Overwhelmed by her divine destiny, Joan becomes a ruthless terrorist, murdering her adversaries in cold blood, and making mortal enemies of the very people she sought to liberate. She struggles to fulfill her mission, utterly alone and despised by all, as the world descends into chaos."

Karic was born in the former Yugoslavia and has been living and working in Vienna since 1992. She studied publicity and theatre science at the University of Vienna; while in school, she worked on a documentary short film, was employed in theatre and film administration and was involved in war communications, propaganda and media positioning. For Schauspielhaus Vienna, Karic participated and co-authored Jerusalem My Love (2002) and in 2003 conceptualized and directed 1914. In 2007 she conceived and directed the critically acclaimed The Trojan Women: An Asian Story, a co-production with Seoul Art Center (Korea), the world-renowned International Theatre Festival in Vienna, and Montclair State University in New Jersey.

The partnership with Linz09 is Goodman Theatre's next international initiative, following its current "A Global Exploration: Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century," curated by Robert Falls, featuring more than 100 artists from six theatre companies around the world presenting their highly contemporary, innovative interpretations of Eugene O'Neill's dramas (running through March 6).

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