Joan of Arc was born in the 1400s, but Broadway star Mandi Masden sees a little bit of her in women today! The ‘Saint Joan’ actress explained at the GenNext Awards why the play is still so relevant in 2018.
We live in a strange time indeed when a story out of the 15th century can still be relatable today. Mandi Masden, one of the recipients of our GenNext Award, presented by HollywoodLife, She Runs It, and Forbes, recently was a leading cast member in the Broadway production of “Saint Joan”. The play was about the trial of Joan of Arc, the famed teenage French military figure who claimed God told her she needed to lead the French to victory in the 1420s. Mandi was the understudy for Joan of Arc, who was played by Condola Rashad. Despite being a young woman, Joan was fearless in the face of adversity, and bold in the presence of grown men. Joan’s spirit can still be seen in women, especially women of color today, Mandi told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY on the GenNext Awards pink carpet.
“I think ‘Saint Joan’ [resonates] with people because she was a young teenage girl (13), essentially, who was kind of stepping into a world of men,” Mandi explained. “And in this production especially, it was a world of white men with a woman of color in this show (Condola Rashad), and she was not afraid. She was there to make her presence known, to make her mission known. She wasn’t backing down to anybody. She was there, she was in your face, she was front-footed in the face of adversity, in the face of trial, and she didn’t really care.
“She was like, ‘I’m here on a mission. God told me to do this, and you need to get on board or get out of my way,'” Mandi continued. “And I think that the passion of that and the drive of that, especially coming from a woman and a woman of color in this story, resonated with a lot of people.”
You can see parallels between Joan, a mild-mannered country girl who realizes she has to stick up for what she believes in, no matter the cost, and the women changing the world today, rather it be the #MeToo movement, Time’s Up, or simply running for office. Just read this synopsis of “Saint Joan”: “When the nation’s rulers become threatened by her popularity and influence, they unite to bring her down and she finds herself on trial for her life. This timeless and powerful play dramatizes the limits of an individual in a society dominated by overwhelming political and religious forces.” Sound familiar? We thought so.