UA Theatre and Dance presents Saint Joan

Kyerra Dexter

UA Theatre and Dance will brings history to life with the production of George Bernard Shaw’s play “Saint Joan.”

According to UA Theatre and Dance Web site, Shaw’s play is a dramatization of Joan of Arc’s life and it draws on the substantial records of her trial, taking the position that her accusers acted in good faith according to their beliefs.

“[Shaw] believed that the characterization of Joan by most writers is romanticized to make her accusers come off as completely unscrupulous villains, yet he takes no position, himself, on whether the sentence was just or otherwise,” the site said. “Caught between the forces of the Church and the Law, Joan is the personification of the tragic heroine.”

The director of “Saint Joan” is Seth Panitch, assistant professor of acting and head of the MFA and Undergraduate Acting programs. Alexandra Ficken, a junior majoring in musical theater and dance, has the lead role of Joan.

Ficken said she cut her waist-length blonde hair for her character. She also said she enjoyed being part of a classic play that gives audiences more than one historical perspective.

“You get to see both sides of the story,” Ficken said. “You get to experience theater at its finest and you will leave feeling satisfied.”

First-year MFA acting graduate Puyton Connely will play King Charles VII. Connely said theater can be more magical than movies, and he said Joan’s characterization makes the play interesting for the audience.

“The play makes Joan a human being without robbing her of being a saint,” Connely said. One reason why he came to the University, he said, was because of the director.

“His attitude, passion, and knowledge was appealing,” Connely said. “Working on the play was completely demanding but rewarding, and we are still shaping it.”

Also in the cast as the Chaplin opposing Joan is Timothy Rhoades, another first year MFA acting graduate. Rhoades said the play solid. “It’s a great piece of literature. There aren’t any weak links,” he said.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for UA faculty and staff and senior citizens, and tickets for students and children are $12. The play will be held on the UA campus at the Gallaway Theatre in Rowand-Johnson Hall.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday to Saturday, with an additional show time at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The final show is on Sunday at 2 p.m.