The Pope Joan Workshop Web


From the Point Survey Top 5% of the Web Review:

"From Chicago's Orlok Productions, here's an unusual behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to produce a Broadway musical. The subject: Pope Joan, "a love story based on the rise and fall of the only female Pope," in its preliminary Chicago run. Yes, they're serious: "With its use of period and ecclesiastical accents to flavor a pop score (and) set against the backdrop of the pageantry and ritual of the Vatican, Pope Joan explores themes both ancient and in today's headlines." Visitors can read selections from the script ("Act One... LOUIS, half-dressed, lounges in the bed, while JOAN, in priestly robes, instructs him. A bell tolls....") or the sometimes near-hysterical production notes ("The deal we've been working on for months appears to be aborting..."). The weekly progress reports are quite fascinating."

From the McKinley Internet Directory:

A Four out of Four Star Rating:

"Pope Joan is a new work of musical theater written by Christopher Moore and produced by Michael Butler and Orlok that will grow as it travels from Chicago to New York stages. This is the first effort of its kind, a bridge between author, producer, and theater lovers on the World Wide Web. The comments and suggestions that you make will directly affect the way a theater piece is translated to multi-media format, and those same suggestions may effect the direction of the show itself. This Web page includes information about the show and characters, lyrics, selected scenes, historical setting, timeline, critical reviews, and background on The Bailiwick Cast, the author, the producer, and more."

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996
Subject:Pope Joan

I have a similar thing happen in my family:

My great great grandfather was Jose Hilario Lopez. He was a revolutionary hero who fought along with Simon Bolivar and others for the independence of Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador (Known as THE GRAN COLOMBIA, then) He became president of Colombia and ended up abolishing corporal punishment and slavery. This caused a lot of trouble for him and he was forced to kick out the Jesuits out of Colombia. For this he was excomunicated form the Catholic church and he ended up resigning and the Jesuits returned. Well guess who was in charge of the press and who wrote most of history? Until 1980 he was excluded form history and the period in time when he served called a "dark period in Colombian history". Luckily he had written a lot to other people around the world and he was the first COLOMBIAN to reach places like GREECE, where his name was registered by the authorities! My family was finally invited to a ceremony to celebrate him and introduce him to his righteous place in history. The excomunicaiton still stands...


Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 14:14:47 -0500
Subject: Pope Joan

The scene with louis and joan wrestling turned me on. I have pinned my husband on his back and have a fetish for wrestling. Why is it written in the scene?

The Author answers:

Dear Internet visitor:

Thanks for your questions about the wrestling scene between Louis and Joan. Of course it's meant to be erotic -- I'm glad you agree. I wrote this scene early on in the play to reveal the sexual nature of the relationships between the lovers, and to allow a glimpse into the roleplay that I imagine formed some of the sexual relastionship between them. Have a wonderful time with your husband.

My best, Christopher Moore

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 95 23:15:55
Subject: (no subject)

This is the first time I have ever attempted using the Internet for things like this, but I just wanted to write and say how great I thought it was that POPE JOAN had a site on the Internet.

I saw the show twice last year when I was home from college on spring break. I thought the show was absolutely fantastic!

Having a site on the Internet gives POPE JOAN the recognition it richly deserves.

And congrats on the Jeff awards!

Good luck on a (possible, I hope?) trip to Broadway!?! I hope others learn about this show.


Jonna Kosalko

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 95 00:16:23 -0700
From: Bob Fisher
Subject: praise

What a great looking page!

Great concept.

Great execution.(no pun intended)

Makes me re-think some of my own design efforts (

Bob Fisher

Date: Sat, 23 Sep 1995 04:31:32 -0400

Subject: Love the Web Site

What an incredible service you're providing to the musical theatre community! As the artistic director of New Line Theatre, an alternative (non-equity) musical theatre company in St. Louis, I can't thank you enough. New Line publishes a newsletter with news on musical theatre - I can't wait to include info about your web site in the next issue. We've produced several new musicals, too, and this is such a great idea!

It's so important that people learn about this art form, and that we stop relying on Broadway to move it forward!

Many thanks again. This is such a valuable opportunity for so many people! All the luck in the world with the show...

Scott Miller

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 95 16:47:38 -0700
From: Sam Radmin
Subject: Why not to rely on Stars


I agree with your reasons for not casting "stars" in a new production and agree with your exceptions as well. However, you should list a third, very important reason why you shouldn't cast a "star."

Let's look back in recent history to a major show that relies on a "star" even though it was not designed as a vehicle for a specific actor/actress. This show of course is "Sunset Blvd." What happens when the "star" leaves and your box office plummets, as it did when Glenn Close left the show to go on vacation or was ill? Suddenly the work is left to stand on its own, where it didn't have to when the "star" carried it along. Fortunately for Sir Andrew Lloyd, his mammouth production is safe and secure in the hands of Betty Buckley. Will he be so lucky next time???

So as you can see, yet another reason for not casting stars.

Sam Radmin
Theatre Wannabe

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 1995 17:18:46 -0700
From: Pam Boyd
Subject: comment

I'm fascinated by your pages, stunned. The story itself is fascinating. I imagine the Roman Catholic Church will have something to say as well. Good fortune.


We would like to know your reactions to both Pope Joan the musical and Pope Joan the website. Please send your comments to and let us know if we have permission to use them on the website. Thank you for your feedback!

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