For over 700 years Joan of Arc has been an inspiration to millions, including such playwrights Shakespeare, Schiller, Shaw, Brecht, Maxwell Anderson and, just this year, a team of four women, members of Buffalo's "Brazen-Faced Varlets" theatrical troupe.
For Buffalo's Infringement Festival 2017, they sat down with the script of Shakespeare's play HENRY VI, PART I and culled the parts about "La Pucelle" (The Maid / The Maid of Orleans / Joan of Arc) and then fashioned them into a one-woman play directed by Lara Haberberger starring Stefanie Warnick called SHAKESPEARE'S LA PUCELLE. There are two performances left: Saturday and Sunday August 26 and 27, both at 2:00 p.m. at Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant Street (about two blocks south of Buffalo State College).
Lara Haberberger earned her MFA from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where she worked with the Washington Shakespeare Company, among others, before coming to Buffalo to found Brazen Faced Varlets. In a conversation, here presented as three podcasts, Haberberger spoke about her surprise at discovering a completely different Joan of Arc, Shakespeare's, and how she made a personal vow to someday, somewhere, present the bard's vision. That time is now. Does LA PUCELLE fit the mission and goals of the Varlets? In a word, yes, given that the goals include: providing women with compelling roles, re-imagining the theatrical canon in order to allow women to portray iconic roles, allowing artists to grow and develop theatrical talents besides acting, and producing work that focuses on political issues that affect women.
What's next? The Brazen-Faced Varlets will be presenting Pulitzer Prize winning, Broadway playwright Paula Vogel's DESDEMONA: A PLAY ABOUT A HANDKERCHIEF, which imagines Shakespeare's Othello as told from the point of view of Desdemona. That play will be presented at Rust Belt Books from October 13th through 29th.