Jacob, Joseph, Judas, Joan by Fiona Revill
Jacob, Joseph, Judas, Joan is an epic stage-play exploring how the trauma inherent in foundational Biblical myths has been passed down intergenerationally, resulting in fundamental schisms in the Western world: positioning Christian theology against feminism, queerness, atypicality, and mental illness.
The play begins in the time of Jacob, following the legacy of the curse placed on him by his wronged twin brother, Esau. As the curse is inherited by Jacob’s beloved non-binary child, Joseph, and then passed down through their descendants (Judas Iscariot, and his great love, Christ the Nazarene, among them), the effects of relationship in survivors' recovery are made manifest. The story moves to 15th century France, where the culmination of this shared traumatic Christian legacy is experienced through the ecstasies and torments of one particularly profound, devout teenage girl.
Who are we when stripped of rights of inheritance and relationship – when we are outside community; no longer someone’s child, sibling, lover, or friend? Are we culpable when used as pawns in God’s master plan – what choices do we have when free will is taken from us? How can we fight against predestination, whether by blood or by divine intention?
Also, there’s some singing and dancing.
Keywords: religion, trauma, family, queer, feminism, neurodivergence, Jacob, Joseph, Judas, Jesus, Joan of Arc, angels, biblical, history, music, dance
Genre: Drama, Play with Music
Run time: 140 minutes
Suitable for students 16+
Content notes: Contains torture, violence, misogyny, homophobia
JUDAS/ANGEL’s shared serpent does not need to be photorealistic. If a practical effect is unavailable, the serpent could be presented in multimedia. All multimedia elements can be filmed, animated, or presented in found/sourced footage.
ACT TITLES can be projected via multimedia screens. Scene titles can perhaps be included in programs, for audienceassistance.
The INTERMISSION follows ACT II.
Cast size: 20 actors
Male roles: 6
Female roles: 13
Trans/Non-Binary/Gender Non-Conforming roles: 1
All characters in this production should be portrayed by female or non- binary actors (with the possible exception of some antagonists: ESAU, GILLES DE RAIS/PRIEST, THE DAUPHIN, THE TORTURER, JUDAH and PIERRECAUCHON among them). Roles can be doubled, with a minimum cast of twenty.
In addition, in the event of casting limited circumstances, ST. MICHAEL could be portrayed by a male presenting actor, as could JESUS and JUDAS (but only if both were men).
This play is an openly cast play – no fewer than half the cast are to be BIPOC, with a greater percentage in cities and locations where there is even greater statistical representation of minorities. There is no necessity for there to be any Caucasian actors in this play.
The actress/actor who plays JOSEPH, should also play RACHEL, his/their mother. The actress who plays JOAN should also play DINAH, JOSEPH’s sister. BENJAMIN never partakes in any violence.
The actress who plays SAINT CATHERINE should also play REBECCA, Jacob’s mother, and MAMAN, Joan’s mother.
The actress who plays SAINT MARGARET should also play LEAH, and MARY MAGDALENE.
The SAINTS and SOLDIERS choruses can be bolstered by any actors that are not cast in named roles within thecurrent scene. GUARDS can also be cast from this chorus.