The Talking Heads founder explains why the iconic story is so relevant today.
David Byrne has developed a new musical based on the story of Joan Of Arc that will debut next year. Developed with many of the same collaborators behind his 2010 production Here Lies Love, the play aims to use contemporary music to retell the centuries-old story of the young French soldier who was burned at the stake at the age of 19.
Though her story has been retold countless times through every medium, Byrne acknowledges and anticipates the “why?” in a newsletter titled “So I’ve Written Another Musical” which coyly opens with a photo from Dreyer’s 1928 silent-classic La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. He argues that while the story is timeless, it’s also especially relevant right now.
“It’s about someone — a nobody, a teenage girl — who inspired others to act, to overthrow their oppressors and take charge of their lives. She transforms from an innocent, into an androgynous warrior, and finally a martyr,” he writes of the story and its ability to show the “power of the individual to make a difference.”
The production adapts many primary sources from the story, including actual testimonies from Joan Of Arcs’ original trial.
It’s expected to open next spring at the Public Theater in New York.