The hypocrisy is presented bluntly throughout the musical but never commented on by any character, nor even given a winking reference in the book or lyrics. In fact, one of the only moments when the musical does attempt to present something humorously is the song, “Many Parts, One Body,” in which a priest played by Rodrick Covington sings a calypso-style number to Joan about the physical torture she could face if she does not cooperate. Jarringly out of tune with the rest of the show, this number is horrifyingly unsettling and not at all funny.
Joan of Arc concludes with an obvious attempt at positive thinking, with Joan’s mother (played by Mare Winningham) asking for a posthumous retrial of her daughter, urging the bishops and priests to “send her to Heaven.” It’s a fitting conclusion for a show about patriarchal power structure. Even though Joan made her own decisions, including the recanting of her confession that led to her death, of course, her place in the afterlife is a choice left to a group of men.