“Every once in a while a lark appears in your sky and then everything evil and stupid is wiped out by its shadow”

Rep 21 is back for its 12th season with Jean Anouilh’s, The Lark, the story and trial of Joan of Arc, a simple shepherdess who becomes forever a symbol of courage and hope.  Rep 21 marks the culmination of our 2018 acting graduates’ training. They have spent the past six consecutive semesters intensively training in stage acting techniques, movement, voice, speech, dance, clowning, stage combat, and on-camera acting.

After centuries of abuse, repudiation, prejudice, misunderstanding, and indifference, Joan of Arc was vindicated in 1920 with her Canonization. The facts are now commonly known. No one in their right mind any longer questions her belief in her sacred mission, her dedication and her accomplishments. After George Bernard Shaw’s St. Joan, a very credible interpretation, what was left?

Only occasional variations on the theme, such as those by Bertol Brecht and Maxwell Anderson.

Before Jean Anouilh, one might’ve wondered, as some did, whether another first-rate drama, faithful to the truth about Joan, was possible? But for Anouilh another path opened. Perhaps we had become so absorbed in a cool analysis of the facts that we had lost the spirit of Joan, the sense of wonder and joy in the legend. Anouilh attempted to recapture what we might have been in danger of losing. He wrote The Lark in 1953. The American dramatist Lillian Hellman adapted the play for the New York production in 1955. It is the translation we are using.

During the rehearsal period, these young actors have been asked to perform rigorously challenging tasks; they have stretched, developed and refined the muscles - physical, vocal, intellectual, and emotional - that they will require for the future. The theatre is always a celebration of becoming rather than being. All living things change from second to second, and the theatre is very much a living thing, changing actively but imperceptibly from moment to moment…like the growth of our graduates. Again, this season, instead of charging admission we will be accepting financial donations in support of the Gathering Place.

Rod Carley

Rod Carley, Artistic Director - REP 21
Artistic Director - Acting for Stage and Screen, Canadore College