Jacob, Joseph, Judas, Joan

Written by:

Fiona Revill

Cast Size:
48

Roles For:

  • LGBTQ+: 1
  • Men: 6
  • Women: 13

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Death
Family
Intergenerational
Love
Loyalty
Trauma

Length:

140 min.

Year Written:

2022

Synopsis:

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.

Characters:

The First

JACOB…………………………………………………………………….Esau’s twin, the father of many children
ESAU…………………………………………………………………Jacob’s twin, first-born, denied his blessing
ISAAC……………………………………………………………………….their father, near sacrifice of Abraham
REBECCA……………………………………………………………………………their mother, defender of Jacob
RACHEL……………………………………….Jacob’s most beloved wife, Joseph and Benjamin’s mother
LEAH…………………………………Jacob’s first wife, Rachel’s sister, mother of Dinah and many sons
JOSEPH………………………………………………………Jacob’s favourite child, a prophet and interpreter
His/their brothers:
REUBEN………………………………………..
SIMEON…………………………………………
LEVI………………………………………………
JUDAH…………………………………………..
DAN……………………………………………….
NAPHTALI…………………………………….
GAD……………………………………………….
ASHER…………………………………………..
ISSACHAR……………………………………..
ZEBULUN………………………………………
and BENJAMIN……………………………….

DINAH……………………………………………………………………..his/their sister

The Disciples

JUDAS/ANGEL………………………………………………………………….a disciple of Christ the Nazarene
JESUS CHRIST THE NAZARENE……………………..a prophet, son of God, performer of miracles
His disciples:
SIMON, called PETER……………………..
ANDREW……………………………………….
JAMES……………………………………………
JOHN……………………………………………..
PHILIP……………………………………………
THADDEUS……………………………………
BARTHOLOMEW…………………………..
THOMAS………………………………………..
JAMES, the LESS…………………………….
MATTHEW……………………………………..
SIMON……………………………………………
MARY MAGDALENE……………………..

The Saints

THE DAUPHIN…………………………………………………………………….Charles the VII, the Victorious
JOAN……………………………………………………………………….Maid of Orleans, Roman Catholic Saint
Her advisors & friends:
JEAN DE DUNOIS/TORTURER…………..
GILLES DE RAIS/PRIEST……………………
JEAN POTON DE XAINTRAILLES………
ETIENNE DE VIGNOLLES…………………..
RAOUL DE GAUCOURT……………………..
ROBERT DE BAUDRICOURT………………
GUY XIV DE LAVAL…………………………..
ARTHUR DE RICHEMONT………………….
JEAN DUKE of ALENCON…………………..
ST MICHAEL………………………………………
ST CATHERINE/MAMAN……………………
ST MARGARET…………………………………..
PIERRE CAUCHON…………………………………………………………………………….. Bishop of Beauvais
SAINTS/SOLDIERS/MOURNERS……………………………………………………………………….. a chorus

The Aural

VOICE…………………………………………………………………………………….. an ancient God, the Creator
CAIN……………………………………………………………………………. a son of Adam and Eve, a murderer
DAVID………………………………………………………………………………………….. a Psalmist, a good King

Resources:

The play can be accessed through the Canadian Play Outlet: https://www.canadianplayoutlet.com/products/jacob-joseph-judas-joan-by-fiona-revill

Notes:

Suitable for students 16+
Production notes:

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 audience assistance.
The INTERMISSION follows ACT II.

Casting notes:

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 the current scene. GUARDS can also be cast from this chorus.

Warnings:

Contains mentions of torture, violence, misogyny, homophobia.