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‘Rewriting History’: New Play At One Of World’s Most Famous Theaters To Portray Joan Of Arc As Gender Neutral

(Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

Sarah Weaver Staff Writer
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A new play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London will portray French heroine Joan Of Arc as gender neutral and using “they/them” pronouns.

The play, titled “I, Joan,” will open Aug. 25 and run until Oct. 22, the theatre’s website reads. The production is described by the theater as, “alive, queer and full of hope.”

“Rebelling against the world’s expectations, questioning the gender binary, Joan finds their power and their belief spreads like fire,” the website writes of the play.

The theater’s statement on “Identity in I, Joan,” written by Shakespeare’s Globe Artistic Director Michelle Terry, says their portrayal of the heroine as using “they/them” pronouns is consistent with history “as early as 1375.”

“We are not the first to present Joan in this way, and we will not be the last,” Terry wrote.

The release also clarified the team used “queer” to be used “interchangeably with LGBTQIA+” and wanted to use the term “outside of heterosexual and cisgender identities.” (RELATED: Tucker Interviews Teacher Fired After Refusing To Call Trans Student By Preferred Pronouns)

Frank Furedi, an emeritus professor at the University of Kent, told The Times that the play was “rewriting history” and the content of the play projected “a fantasy backwards.”

“Someone like Joan of Arc would not have any idea what non-binary was. It is a recharacterisation of something that did not even exist at the time,” Furedi told The Times.

Joan Of Arc was a female military leader who defeated the English at the siege of Orléans during the Hundred Years’ War. She was captured a year later and burned at the stake as a heretic. In 1920, the Catholic Church made Joan Of Arc a saint.