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David Byrne Has Written a Musical About Joan of Arc

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: David Byrne attends the PS122's Spring Gala 2016 at Jing Fong Restaurant on April 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

David Byrne has written a new musical based on the story of Joan of Arc. Titled Saint Joan, it’ll comprise “almost all contemporary music with very little spoken text” and is set to premiere at the Public Theater in New York City on February 14, 2017. In a note to fans, Byrne expanded on the idea behind Saint Joan.

Why has this story endured over centuries and been made into so many plays and movies? Because it’s about someone — a nobody, a teenage girl — who inspired others to act, to overthrow their oppressors and take charge of their lives. She transforms from an innocent, into an androgynous warrior, and finally a martyr. Joan’s story is about the power of the individual to make a difference and (for me) the hubris and sometimes oversteps that often go along with that. In other words — it’s completely relevant.

This is Byrne’s second musical — in 2013 he worked with Fatboy Slim on Here Lies Love, the director for which, Alex Timber, will also helm Saint Joan.