DEERFIELD'S SUMMER PLAYS
JEANNE D'ARC BY WILL HUTCHINS IN AUGUST.
Miss Black Takes a Famous Part of
It is officially announced that the prominent feature of the present season
at the "Harrow Theatre" in Old Deerfield will be the production of
"Jeanne d'Arc at Vaucouleurs" a verse drama in three acts by Will
Hutchins. The production is scheduled for the week of Aug 1-7, and work has
already been well begun, and is advanced enough to be promising.
The play, while historic in subject and in general incident, is a presentation
of the domestic and personal side of the character of the "Maid of Orleans,"
and is developed around certain specific occurrences which were extremely important
in the early stages of her career, but which have not been dramatically treated
before except in certain 15th century mystery plays.
It was from Vaucouleurs that Jeanne D'Arc was forwarded to the dauphin king
at Chinon by Robert de Baudricourt on Feb. 23, 1429, which is the time in which
the action of the piece is set. With one exception the incidents of the piece
are literally based upon history, but the presentation is to a certain extent,
an entirely new departure from Jeanne d'Arc tradition on the stage which has
always tended towards the spectacular rather than the real or personal quality.
In form the play follows the general principles of the Greek drama in composition,
being written with a strictly limited number of characters in a perfect unity
of time, place and action. It has been very warmly received in private circulation
by some of the most exacting of American critics, and will probably be published
later in the season. Its first appearance, however will be at Deerfield, on
the stage for which it was originally written. The piece is to be mounted with
extreme care as to detail in every particular. Entirely fresh costumes will
be used throughout, based on the drawings of Boutet-de-Monvel. The stage is
being rebuilt and enlarged and there will be a larger and more effective seating
arrangement than last year. It seems probable that there will be a considerable
attendance from Boston and New York and the neighboring cities. In order to
avoid overcrowding at any one performance the number of admissions for each
evening will be strictly limited. Patrons can secure their tickets in advance.
Ample notice will be given at later date.
The company is at present rehearsing last year's production. "The land
of heart's desire," for private production in Ashfield on Monday evening
of next week. A revival for the production will probably be announced for Deerfield
at a later date. The part of Jeanne d'Arc is taken by Miss Kelsey Black of the
University of Indiana. Mr. Hutchins will probably take a minor part in that