Shaw’s SAINT JOAN Opens Thursday Telling of Rise and Fall of History’s Heroic Female

Diogenes Theatre Company presents SAINT JOAN opening February 18th at the Aronoff Center

DTC_Saint Joan promo2

Sara Clark as Saint Joan.

CINCINNATI – February 12, 2016 – Diogenes Theatre will open George Bernard Shaw’s SAINT JOAN in the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Theatre on February 18th for the second play of their season.  Lindsey Augusta Mercer directs Sara Clark in the title role, in a thrilling staging with 360º audience seating!

SAINT JOAN, a masterpiece by George Bernard Shaw, is the story of the rise and fall of one of history’s most fascinating characters.  Joan is a young country girl who claims to hear voices from God that tell her to raise a siege at Orleans.  She claims that she has divine direction to chase the English out of France.  As she continues to claim victory after victory and her voice becomes more powerful, the church turns on her, setting up one of the most dramatic trials of all time.  The battle Joan will wage to hold on to her voice and her principles will be more daunting than any foe faced on the battlefield.  Saint Joan, originally staged in 1923-4, became Shaw’s most popular play almost immediately. Director Lindsey Augusta Mercer says, “Perhaps the most potent and timeless theme in Saint Joan is this idea of a “Will to Power.” At the time the play was written, the world was recovering from the horrors of WWI which undoubtedly influenced Shaw as he explored the political power dynamics surrounding Joan’s time.”  This piece was sure to resonate globally during Shaw’s time and continues to be just a powerful today.

Mercer, who has assistant directed many productions with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company says of staging the play in the round: “Theatre in the round is such an exciting challenge as a director. It may appear at first to be the most theatrical or dramatic stage format, but when it comes to the storytelling, it is the most realistic.  It is the perfect correlation to our human perspectives in life; we’re all technically in the same theatre, immersed in the same narrative, but each audience member experiences a different truth depending on where they sit.”

The play will feature Sara Clark as Joan.  The large cast of characters that surround Joan will be portrayed by only six other actors.  The ensemble includes: Billy Chace, Geoffrey Barnes, Patrick Phillips, Rory Sheridan, Nicole Jeannine Smith and Jared Earland.  Speaking of her cast, Mercer states, “This ensemble has embraced the challenge and of this play with so much modesty, imagination, and passion, and I could not imagine a better tribute to Joan, or to Shaw.”  The production team features costume design by Amanda McGee, set design by Sarah Beth Hall, sound design by Doug Borntrager, and lighting design by Alan Kleesattel.  The production is stage managed by Justin McCombs.  Brian Isaac Phillips serves as a special consultant for the production.

Performances will be on February 18, 19, 20 and March 2, 3, 4, and 5  at 7:30pm and February 21 and March 5 at 2:00pm.  All performances will take place at the Aronoff Center for the Arts’ Fifth Third Theatre.

Diogenes Theatre Company is a small professional theatre performing the best of comedy and drama in intimate studio settings .

For more information visit – www.diogenestheatrecompany.com/.

Tickets can also be purchased at www.cincinnatiarts.org/

Up next for Diogenes Theatre Company will be Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” directed by Michael Evan Haney and featuring Amy Warner, running from May 12-21 at the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Theatre.

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