main man and all-around musical innovator David Byrne has announced his next big project: a Broadway musical about 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc. The show, titled St. Joan, is set to premiere at the Public Theater (the former launchpad of current musical hit Hamilton) in New York on Feb. 14, 2017. Byrne announced the news in a note posted on his website, in which he detailed his inspiration and process.
In the note, Byrne said the story will be set to “contemporary music” that is anthemic and spiritual and will have “very little spoken text.” Much of the team from his last musical, Here Lies Love, will also have a hand in the production, including director Alex Timbers.
The Talking Head said he was inspired to pen the musical because of the story’s endurance against the test of time. “Joan’s story is about the power of the individual to make a difference and (for me) the hubris and sometimes oversteps that often go along with that. In other words—it’s completely relevant,” Byrne wrote.
As Byrne notes, most know how the story of Joan of Arc ends, and it seems that he has no qualms against concluding the play in brutal fashion. “On stage, imagine a singer—a contemporary young woman—backed by her inspired band, ultimately immolated at the end of her concert,” writes Byrne.
While the cast has yet to be announced, perhaps Byrne will consider another Saint he’s worked with before. Below, check out Paste Cloud video of Talking Heads performing a song with perfect subject matter for Byrne’s contemporary retelling.