Bringing the story of Joan of Arc to stage, The Jalopy Theater is coming to Flushing Town Hall to present a two-part evening production featuring the Jalopy Chorus’ performance and “The Loneliness of Either, Or: A Requiem for Joan of Arc” on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Scheduled for 8 p.m., the evening opens with Act 1, a 45-minute performance by the chorus featuring music from all around the world. This will be followed by Act 2, “The Loneliness of Either, Or: A Requiem for Joan of Arc,” a piece directed by Ali Dineen, songwriter, visual artist, musical director, and teacher, along with the Boxcutter Collective, a Brooklyn-based puppet theater troupe.
For her performance, Dineen will be playing the piano accompanied by a group of string players, singers and the chorus, which will be making an additional appearance during her piece to sing a song.
The evening will further showcase elements like flag dancing, lanterns and Dineen’s hand-painted banners of fire, the angel who visited Joan and Joan herself to fuse the story with personal histories and today’s political world, as well as bring audiences a true concert and pageant-style blend of reenactment.
“Most people might think of a beauty pageant, but that’s not what we mean. This is sort of like procession or parades of people moving…,” said Dineen. “It’s not exactly a linear piece, but there are some beautiful elements of spectacle.”
Expressing the inspiration behind this production, Dineen shared that she was influenced through some reading, particularly the book “Transgender Warriors,” where she learned aspects of Joan’s story that highlighted her gender non-conforming nature and defiance that led to her execution.
“Learning aspects of her story that I didn’t know while growing up for a long time, it kept evolving to be a piece about not just gender, but all the places that are in the between in our lives, that aren’t in the either-or. It’s reckoning broken faith and trying to find hope and resilience after,” Dineen said.
Founded in 2014 by Eva Salina and Olivia Lynch and currently co-led by Dineen and Salina, the Jalopy Chorus is the official resident choir ensemble of The Jalopy Theater Company and School of Music that specializes in singing from an array of world folk harmony traditions.
The Jalopy Theater Company and School of Music is an arts venue and school with programming that not only supports artists but also offers education about musical heritage and fosters a multi-generational community.
“Using giant puppets, pageantry, and original music for piano and choir, we are excited to partner with Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theater Company to bring incredibly creative artists to our Queens’ stage for this exciting performance and powerful story,” said Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director.
Aiming to be accessible to all audiences, Flushing Town Hall is implementing a sliding scale for tickets and introducing a streaming service subscription as a virtual gateway for those unable to attend in person.
Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. For more information, visit flushingtownhall.org.