“I am Jeanne” premieres tomorrow

LLCC Theatre in collaboration with Cutlass Artists presents the world premiere of “I am Jeanne” Thursday through Sunday, May 2-5 at 8 p.m. The performances will be staged in the lower level of Sangamon Hall South.

Mark Hardiman, LLCC professor of theatre, directs this newly devised production about the infamous female pirate Jeanne de Clisson. A devised production is one created by the ensemble in collaboration with the director and designers.

During the Hundred Years’ War, Jeanne’s husband, suspected of secretly supporting England in the conflict, is lured to France to participate in a tournament. Once there, he is tried and executed. Hearing of this, Jeanne sells her estates, buys three ships, paints them black and outfits them with red sails. She secures the support of England. To exact her revenge, she then attacks French ships in the English Channel for 13 years.

In this production, all actors become Jeanne at some point, blurring the lines between genders. “We do this to highlight the fact that all folks who have suffered from oppression have a voice,” says Hardiman. “The production is staged in the form of flashback as Jeanne ponders the significance of her actions and their results.”

“I am Jeanne” runs approximately one hour and contains stage combat stylized into a ritualistic form. The production is suggested for mature audiences. Tickets are $10 each and must be purchased in advance at www.cutlassartists.com. No tickets will be sold at the door.