San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

I, JOAN–An Interview with Peter Mitsopoulos

Rosie Gordon as Joan of Arc in Peter Mitsopoulos's I, Joan

Rosie Gordon as Joan of Arc in Peter Mitsopoulos’s I, Joan

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Point Loma/Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego and I still live there. I graduated with a degree in theater from SDSU in 1976.

Tell us about your play.

I’ve been fascinated by Joan of Arc for many years. How did a teenage girl come out of nowhere to save her country and change the course of history? I struggled for a while deciding how to approach writing a play about her. Of course, she’s been the subject of multi-character dramas by great playwrights such as Schiller, Shaw, and Anderson. I had no desire to compete with them. I would only lose. I finally hit upon the idea of a one-woman show. Why not let Joan speak for herself? Why not let her command the stage alone, speaking directly to the audience about her life and adventures? That’s why it’s entitled I, Joan. Much of the dialogue is actual quotes from Joan herself and the incidents she describes actually happened.

Rosie Gordon as Joan of Arc

Rosie Gordon as Joan of Arc

What are your challenges? What are your successes?

As a playwright, I’ve haven’t exactly been a raging success. After writing I, Joan, I submitted it to several theaters in and out of San Diego. Of course, they all told me to get stuffed. After wondering why no one would produce this or any of my other plays, the answer finally hit me between the eyes like a brick: “Why should they?” Then I remembered a favorite saying of Joan’s: “God helps those who help themselves.” So I decided to go the self-production route. This is putting a major dent in my bank account, but it’s only money. And you can’t take it with you.

What is your next step?

I’m not thinking about the next step. The present moment is all any of us has. You can plan for the future, but you can’t count on it. I’m thinking only about getting this play on the stage. It’s a modest production in a modest venue, but I got lucky and managed to assemble a great team. Our director, Dhyana Dahl, has really thrown herself into the project. She’s a real pro. Her creativity and theatrical instinct have been most impressive. And her experience has been invaluable. Our stage manager, Katie Foggiano and our costume designer, Dominique Hill, are also very professional and very dedicated. And our actress, Rosie Gordon, is going to be something truly special in the role of Joan. This is a demanding job for an actress, but I have no doubt we cast the right one. I’m glad she came to the auditions.¬†¬† Opening night is 9-17-15 and the website for info and tickets is www.joan.ticketleap.com/arc. We hope to see you there. Thanks very much.

Thanks for talking with us, Peter! I, Joan runs from September 17 to October 3, 2015, Thursday thru Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

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