‘The Second Coming Of Joan Of Arc’ — An Alt Joan for the Burning

By Ernest Kearney — Speaking of her seizure by Burgundian forces outside the city of Compiègne, after being abandoned by her own army, Joan laments, “I’m captured. I think the word is ditched.” Here, Playwright Carolyn Gage announces that the “Maid of Orlèans” in her 1987 play The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, will resonate with modern sensibilities.

Gage’s play is indeed an intelligent and meticulous reworking of Joan’s story groomed from the actual transcripts of her trial that steps back from the gossamer image of the young maid whose voices told her to liberate France.

Granted Gage has replaced this sentimental myth with a tale presenting Joan as more sexual than religious heretic, whose mission is less concerned with freeing her nation from the English as it is with awakening womankind to the unrelenting despotism of male tyranny.

Granted, Gage has merely exchanged the standard history textbook fable for one of her own construction, but if we are honest, hers is probably closer to truth.

Gage’s Joan speaks for all marginalized people, but especially those of the writer’s distinct sisterhood, “My voices are your voices.” Here Joan equates her inquisition to the torture of any woman who is subjected to body shaming.

The Playwright’s ideas are deftly delivered by Amanda S. Wagner, are decidedly relevant and powerfully evocative, and—even if not an adherent of her political leaning or a member of her, particular, tribe—her points are nevertheless valid and her arguments inescapably sound.

Unique to Gage’s work is Joan’s final epiphany that all of her actions were an effort to escape a more terrifying auto-da-fé than the one which fate has lead her to, namely the flames of passion that burnt in her heart for another village girl.

In the end, Joan even dismisses her own martyrdom and elevation by the church, “Saint is just another word for a woman who got burnt.”

Alyssa Escalante’s dexterous direction and Wagner’s praiseworthy performance as Joan ensures that the strengths of Gage’s arguments are not missed.


Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

The Second Coming of Joan of Arc

Playing during the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022


The Complex Theatre and Studios (Flight Theatre)
6476 Santa Monica Blvd


Saturday June 18 2022, 9:30 PM
Thursday June 23 2022, 5:00 PM
Sunday June 26 2022, 2:00 PM

For Additional Information and Tickets Go To:



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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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