Joan of Arc’s decision to dress like a man violated a law against cross-dressing so infuriating her judges that they formulated 70 charges of heresy against her. Their interrogation included bizarre reasons to explain why she assumed male authority and took on manly traits. When she was taken by the French court to be blessed by God her voices were considered to be authentic and with that she came to lead the French army to reclaim the throne for France. When she was betrayed the voices were amended to be those of a witch and heretic.


The play takes place in the present where Michael represents the jury of orthodox theologians and powerful judges. His interrogation of Joan during the trial was recorded exactly. He speaks for the English and the Burgundians and finally the clergy who are determined to accuse her of heresy. Two performers, representing Joan, address her accuser. Using time-based digital projections, live performance, 2D animation and physical movement the play looks into the past to show the meaning and relevance of the trial today.

Writing and Direction: Maureen Selwood

Performance: K. Bradford, Nathan Nonhof and Sarah McCarron
Monologue: K. Bradford
Digital Projects and Documentation: Jeremy Glaholt
Assistant Director: Tempe Hale
Movement Director: Sarah McCarron
Lighting Design: R.S. Buck
Animations: Maureen Selwood and Sunny Liang
Sculptures courtesy of Megan Cotts

29 Cross Examinations was performed at Automata Nov. 20-22, 2015