Joan of Arc | Prop Thtr | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Iris Sowlat

When: Thursdays. Continues through Feb. 22 2018
Phone: 773-492-1287
Price: $15 or pay what you can, $12 in advance
rhinofest.com
Playwright Alex Ranieri turns Joan of Arc’s 1431 heresy trial into a poetic fever dream packed with religious philosophizing. Her prosecutors, led by the zealous, paranoid Bishop of Beauvais, swirl in and out of the shadows as they nudge her toward self-incrimination. Meanwhile the Maid’s guardian angels, Saints Margaret and Catherine, become insistent, electrified interlopers pushing her to accept execution. Through it all Joan, played by a fittingly guileless Sierra Buffum, engages any mind she can (including her own) in debates over the nature of faith, sin, pride, innocence, and salvation. It’s heady stuff, often obscured behind underdeveloped character relationships and excessive historical exposition, but all explored without a hint of irony. Director Iris Sowlat indulges in ample fussy blocking but keeps her actors focused on nothing but speaking truth. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. —Justin Hayford

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