The ARK System began taking control of Earth Enterprise in 2050 A.D. as a technical aid to global commerce. As the play begins in 2129, the power of its Triumvirate, and particularly of Petra, its founder, is nearly absolute. People world over enjoy "contentment"—sheltered, useful lives that are stress and disease free—except for those who are deemed "useless" and face banishment to the Wilderness, or worse. Worldwide, much has been gained, but at what price? In this futuristic re-envisioning of the Joan of Arc story, Joan is called not by saints or angels, but by an unexplained presence on her transcommunicator and a forbidden visitor to her Life/Work Station. Her mission is to fulfill an ancient prophecy and restore to power the wayward Charles, president of Earth Enterprise, thereby unifying the people of Earth Enterprise in their rebellion against Petra's tyranny. Although the well-being of the people of Earth Enterprise and the survival of the ARK System are vitally important to Joan, her growing understanding of Petra, the mother she has served, and Catherine, the mother she has loved, drive her forward. Joan brings support to the besieged Transcommunication Center at Orleans and eventually faces interrogation and martyrdom. In the process, many questions are raised about the use and abuse of technology, individual rights and responsibilities, the role of faith and the power of music. The answers are left open to interpretation. An IRT/Bonderman semifinalist and an AATE Playwrights In Our Schools selection, ARK 5 has generated thoughtful and enthusiastic discussion on all of these topics among its middle-school through adult audiences.
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