INTRODUCTION

The Introduction takes place in a barn in the small French country town known as Domremy, located in northeastern France in the region of Lorraine. The barn in the intro belongs to a small farm owned by a poor farmer. The barn is in bad shape, and the farm animals run freely due to the lack of stables. Despite its lowly state, the barn is quite expansive and takes up almost all of the yard space available to the farmer.

Enter Jacques and Isabelle with candles.

Isabelle, Joan's mother, only makes small appearances in the play. She is very amiable and kind, and her children usually go to her first when presented with problems. Joan leans on her when she looks for someone to take her side when she decides to become a soldier in the French army. Jacques, another amiable character, is very dedicated to his children, and despite his lofty position as the town tax collector, the family he cares so much for is forced into poverty after a plant borne illness kills off all of their crops. He is very much against sending Joan off to war, knowing how his governor, Pierre, is very much against anything out of the ordinary.

JACQUES:

Hurry, love! They can't harm nor abort you here. We must hurry, deliver this angel, for the farmer will certainly have our flesh roasted at the stake if he discovers us here.

ISABELLE:

I will keep quiet and steady for you and our child, my husband. I love you more than the sea holds the Earth. But, love cannot override the fear I feel for you and the child.

JACQUES:

Do you not fear for yourself?

ISABELLE:

To feel fear for oneself, ones possessions, perhaps even ones country, is what makes a demon of an angel, the moon of the sun, a wolf of a sheep. It corrupts, penetrates the very best of hearts, and blackens it. It can damage those on the outside, and I will not stand for that!

JACQUES:

Well put love!

ISABELLE:

But alas...it is of difficulty to not care for oneself when an entire village purges our family name.

JACQUES:

Don't worry, this child will unite us against the pitchforks of our enemies! But what is this?

ISABELLE:

Ah, my love! It has come time. Hurry, you must bring this child into our world. She is the only hope in stopping the witchcraft that has blackened the soil here. Make sure...she has...

JACQUES:

(whispering)

My love, there appears to be din from afar...but it comes quicker. Hold out for just...

ISABELLE:

Ahhh! It comes!

Enter farmer with soldiers.

The Farmer is a contrast to the D'Arcs. He is greedy and jealous, and seeks to destroy anything greater than him. He could be viewed as a follower of Pierre's ideals, seeing anything extraordinary as a threat to his name and place in Domremy. The soldiers, however, represent Joan's future in the military. They are trained to see both sides of a story, an ideal Joan takes to heart later on.

FARMER:

What madness is this? What phantasm screams out to the night in my barn of all holy grounds?

JACQUES:

I can tell...

FARMER:

No need to. Heathen, all of you! Soldiers, purge this unholy whore!

ISABELLE:

No, Jacques, please!

JACQUES:

Isabelle, crawl if you must! Run, flee, away from these fake prophets! Let David guide you!

Exit Isabelle

Back, dogs!

Grabs a pitchfork.

FARMER:

Fool! You steal my barn, disturb my stock and, yet so, have the gall to kill me? Soldiers, smite this demigod!

FIRST SOLDIER:

Hold, but what light comes through the cracks in this old shed?

FARMER:

Alas, what does light matter? Kill, smite, destroy! I want to see the yellow blood of this foul demon!

SECOND SOLDIER:

Hush, decent man! Don't you hear the voices? The seraph have tuned their voices, singing "holy, holy, holy!" But, for whom?

Enter Isabelle with baby Joan.

ISABELLE:

It is done, my lord.

JACQUES:

My dear, there is only one lord. Look upon this, cruel soldiers! See the glow, the grace, of our almighty God upon your eyes! For Jove's sake, hold!

FARMER:

Douse that light, for I cannot and will not see it. There is no light in this shed, for the devil has had many followers in these very chambers! I have seen it, cows, heifers, hogs all dead at their hands! Listen well, soldiers, this is no angel, but a devil in robe and book! Burn her, before all of us join her in the Inferno!

FIRST SOLDIER:

This is no demon, I see God here...

JACQUES:

Good Farmer, we beseech your understanding! Let our child live, for a brave future awaits her. Let this angel do her magic.

FARMER:

Away! Fools!

Exit Farmer

ISABELLE:

God, help us...

SECOND SOLDIER:

Mistress, we cannot stop the Governor Pierre and his forces. Leave you, quickly!

JACQUES:

Good soldiers, you are the people that keep this country from the dogs, not the priests. Good soldiers, I bid you quickly adieu, the governor would make monsters of you should you let us breathe.

FIRST SOLDIER:

Nothing shall happen, for the sun of France sets on us all, does it not?

Exeunt.