Three-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad officially bowed April 25 as the latest woman to take on the formidable role of Joan of Arc in George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. The revival from Manhattan Theatre Club marks the eighth production since it first debuted on Broadway in 1923.
The cast of the history play greeted Playbill on the opening night red carpet to celebrate and spill some secrets.
Tony winner John Glover was first, revealing that that set featuring dozens of golden “organ pipes,” designed by Scott Pask, is actually made of sturdy cardboard tubes! Daniel Sunjata revealed that before every show, Rashad gathers the full cast in a “love hug” to band them together before the three-hour journey they take onstage.
Jack Davenport (Smash), making his Broadway debut, and Walter Bobbie (Tony-winning director of Chicago) let loose on the livestream, talking about finding the humor in the density of Shaw’s language. “It’s a scene about feudalism versus bureaucracy and everyone knows that’s a hoot. I mean who doesn't want to see a long comic scene about that? I know I do,” said Davenport. But in all sincerity, the duo praised the work of the playwright and his deftness with language.
We also greeted Robert Stanton and Adam Chanler-Berat, Max Gordon Moore and Lou Sumrall, Maurice Jones, Russel G. Jones, and Patrick Page who all praised their leading lady. When Rashad finally stepped onto the carpet, she did not disappoint. “I love my cast so much. They are really my knights of shining armor,” she said. “They're like my brothers. I love them and they allow me to play with them. And in terms of developing, it's been a long journey. We just grow every single day.”
The most famous scene from the play is that of the trial of Joan of Arc, where she is condemned to burn at the stake. “That scene is kind of an enigma to me where I don't feel like I'm doing anything, I'm just breathing and whatever happens is just a result of me breathing in every single moment,” said Rashad. “This play is written in such a way that it invokes such emotion from me.”