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The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: 'Saint Joan' by Bedlam, presented by Folger Theatre (2018)

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness
Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. As many arts and cultural institutions remain closed during this time, these ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

Saint Joan
produced by Bedlam
presented by Folger Theatre
written by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Eric Tucker***, Folger Theatre, 2019
Read the director’s notes for the production

Performed by

  • Dria Brown*, Joan
  • Edmund Lewis*, Dauphin/John de Stogumber and others
  • Sam Massaro*, Couchon/Poulengey and others
  • Eric Tucker*, Dunois/ Warwick and others


  • Costume and Sound Design by Eric Tucker***
  • Lighting Design by Les Dickert**
  • Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting and Teresa Wood
  • Production Stage Manager, Diane Healy**
  • Resident Dramaturg, Michele Osherow

*Actors’ Equity Association
**United Scenic Artists
***Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

For more, explore related posts on The Folger Spotlight

Read the introduction by cast member Dria Brown:

Hello and welcome to Folger ENCORES. I’m Dria Brown and I am happy to be able to be with you today. The Folger has been sharing selections from their plays, music, talks, and readings with you in this ENCORES series.

And this week we are revisiting Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw that Folger Theatre and Bedlam produced two years ago. I played Joan. The production was an extraordinary endeavor—Shaw’s play has 24 characters, and in our production only four characters covered all the roles. Now, Shaw paints Joan not as a saint, witch or mad woman, but a farm girl who brings the truth to the world, and that truth resonates through the church and the state.

So to catch you up on where we are in this nearly three-hour play: Joan, or “the maid” as she is also called, wants to join the Dauphin of France to save the city of Orleans from its English captors. She says that she knows a successful siege would be possible because the Saints Margaret and Catherine have told her what to do, and Joan leads her troops forward to Orleans and is victorious. After more victories, Joan has finally been able to fulfill her promise to the Dauphin and drive the English back. She is eventually captured by the enemy. No one comes to rescue her. She is tried for heresy. Her accusers force Joan to admit that her voices were not heavenly-sent, but instead come from Satan. She recants hearing voices and is sentenced to perpetual imprisonment. When she learns her punishment, she tears up her recantation and is sentenced to death.

What you are about to see is just after the judgment has been announced. And after this scene you are about to see, we’ve also included a portion of the epilogue from the play. At every performance in our production, we gave the role of the Messenger to an audience member who read that speech from their seat and in the speech we hear from an emissary that the Catholic Church is to canonize Joan, and that she will be celebrated every May 30th.

Please be sure to join us again for these weekly episodes of ENCORES, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you.

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darknessCheck back each Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger Theatre, Folger Consort, O.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.