Non-binary Jan of Arc star says Globe Show is ‘full of joy, love and hope’

A graphic of a person who is covered in dirt and grime, their chest is bound and they wring their hands. A chainmail helmet covers their eyes. They stand in front of a purple background with text above their head reading I, JOAN in large white letters.

I, Joan’s lead actor, Isobel Thom, says the Globe play that reimagines Joan of Arc as a non-binary hero is “art, exploration, fantasy, and fantasy.” (Shakespeare’s Globe)

I’m Joan The lead actor said the Globe production, which reimagines Joan of Arc as a gender-nonconforming hero, is “full of joy, love, hope, magic, and revolution.”

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater will host a new interpretation of the legendary story of Joan of Arc – believed to have fearlessly led the French into battles against English soldiers in the Hundred Years’ War – that explores the life of the saint from an eerie perspective.

a summary of I’m Joan Joanne – who uses their own pronouns – has been described as a heroine who “rebels against the expectations of the world” and “questions the bisexuality” while finding “her strength and her beliefs spreading like fire”.

Isobel Thom, the non-duo actor cast in the lead role of I’m JoanTell NBC News That the production is full of “joy, love, hope, magic and revolution”.

They added that it is important to use storytelling and theater as a means to advocate for the representation of societies that do not traditionally consider themselves represented in art.

“Storytelling and art is a platform for sharing experiences, expanding imagination, exciting and inspiration, exploring language, and acting,” Thom said. “People and communities deserve to be supported, and there is no limit to the number we can do this for.”

Despite receiving widespread support, critics were quick to express their displeasure I’m Joan With Hadley Freeman, Alison Pearson and others claiming that the production is an attempt to “abolish history’s inspiring women”.

Thom said on Twitter that they had heard “a lot of hype” on social media about the production and were not “planning to add to it” – but said they would not back down from defending representation in art.

Thom wrote: “Joan is an extraordinary historical figure.” “Joanne is a symbol for many, of any gender, but she holds a special significance for women/people who admire women among many others. Me included.”

They continued, “No one takes away your historical Joan. No one takes your Jean, whatever what Joan might mean to you.”

“No one changes the gender of Joan of Arc after her death.” This show is art: an exploration, it’s fiction, it’s fiction.”

Thom encouraged people to watch I’m Joan before they feel the “need to make judgments about the contents” of the play. They said watching the live performance might “remove some confusion”.

“If you feel the need to pass judgment on the lives of non-binary and transgender people, I encourage you to stop and try to practice kindness,” Thom added.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, said in a separate statement that the play does not erase women’s history, but instead, “Just offer the possibility of another point of view”.

“For centuries, Joan has been a cultural icon who has been portrayed in countless plays, books, films, etc.,” Terry said. “History has provided countless and wonderful examples of Joan’s portrayal as a woman.”

She added, “This production simply shows the possibility of another point of view. This is the role of theater: to simply ask the question “Imagine if?”.

Terry explained that theaters “do not deal with ‘historical reality’ but produce plays where ‘everything can be possible’.” She noted how Shakespeare did not “write historically accurate plays” because he “taken numbers from the past to ask questions about the world from around it”.

“Our writers today do nothing different, whether it be looking at Anne Boleyn, Neil Gwen, Emilia Bassano, Edward II, or Joan of Arc,” Terry said.

She continued, “The Globe is a place for imagination. A place where, for a brief period of time, we can at least consider the possibility of the world being elsewhere.”

Terry said the theater is “unequivocally pro-human” and stands for trans and nonbinary people. Blacks, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities.

Added stage production for I’m Joan He wasn’t “the first to introduce Joanne in this way” and said “it won’t be the last”.

I’m Joan It opens at the Globe Theater in London on August 25.

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