What is a Theatrical Workshop Web

This is the first effort of its kind -- a bridge between author, producer, and theatre lovers on the World Wide Web. POPE JOAN is a new work of musical theatre that will grow and change on its journey from a local Chicago workshop to the New York stage. The comments and suggestions that you make will directly affect the way our web works to translate a theatre piece to multimedia format. Those same suggestions may affect the evolution of the show itself. We invite you to join us for an inside look at the development of POPE JOAN -- The Musical.

Workshop Elements

The News of the Week
Production Coordinator Susan Lersch writes a guide which allows theatre lovers a "behind the scenes view" of what it takes to produce a musical in the 1990s.

The following essays were written during the workshop production of POPE JOAN that took place at Chicago's Roosevelt University, May 15-17th, 1997.
May 17th is the Feast of St. Paschal Baylon, Confessor. St. Paschal was born in Spain. His youth was spent tending flocks. He entered the Order of St. Francis at twenty years of age, and became a model of all religious virtues. He died in 1592. Leo XIII declared him protector of all Eucharistic Congresses.

Author Christopher Moore explains how his work on POPE JOAN has transformed his spritual perspective. "I wrote this play to understand the role that my faith, both in spirit and form, has played and continues to play in my life."

Producer Michael Butler explains just how he got involved with this musical and why it still holds such a strong attraction for him.

The following essays originated during the Chicago Production of POPE JOAN, which closed on March, 10, 1996.
March 10th is the Feast of the 40 Holy Martyrs. Under Emperor Licinuus, in 320, forty soldiers of the garrison of Sebaste, Armenia, were exposed on a frozen pond for refusing to sacrifice to idols. All persevered but one, whose courage failed him, and who perished in a bath of tepid waters prepared for him. Their guard, inspired by their fortitude, took his place amongst the remaining thirty-nine soldiers and expired with them, also meriting the crown of martyrdom.

Pages from Michael Butler's Memoirs
Producer Michael Butler shares insights from his career in theatre and more.

The Producer's Report
In this candid report, Michael Butler summarizes the successes and failures of the production of POPE JOAN mounted in Chicago in early 1996. It offers great insight into the business aspects of theatre.

Rewriting Pope Joan
An essay by playwright Christopher Moore, offers some wonderful insights into how he went about accomplishing the latest rewrite of the script. Both the original and the current versions of some scenes are available for review.

Writing the Score for Pope Joan
A second essay from the playwright explains how the score was developed.

Directing Pope Joan
Christopher Moore provides some interesting insights into the unique challenges presented in directing the musical that you wrote.

A Note on the Scene Design/A Word about the Lighting
Scenic and Lighting Designer Andrew Meyers discusses some of the challenges he faced in designing a show with 20 scenes that happens to be set in 857 AD.

What is a Movement Director?
Movement Director Angela Allyn explains her role in the POPE JOAN production team.

A True Company Man
Company Manager Will Hepp explains why if you never hear of him again it means that he's "doin' the job just right."

The Communications Decency Act and Pope Joan
Webmistress Marian Hank explains the suprising connection between Pope Joan and the fight to keep freedom of speech alive in cyberspace.

One Voice
Mary Beidler, who plays Martine in the Chicago Production, explains her spiritual connection to the woman called Pope Joan.

God is in the Details
Prop Designer Tom Hartman takes you on a whirlwind tour of Chicago stores in his quest for the perfect props for POPE JOAN.

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