Bob and I often interview people early in the process of a production’s development. This was true of Mother of the Maid when we interviewed the playwright, Jane Anderson, the director, Matt Penn and the actors playing the mother and the maid, Tina Packer and Anne Troup. They were in the beginning stages of creating this world premiere production. Although we learned much about the play as we talked with them, nothing prepared us for the emotional impact of seeing the play,which presents a unique approach to the story of Joan of Arc, Tina Packer gives one of the most outstanding performances we have seen. Move over Mother Courage; this is an incredible mother. The rest of the cast is excellent as well. There is a wonderful juxtaposition of past and present as the absorbing story unfolds. Be sure you take plenty of Kleenex, but don’t miss this production which is at the Elayne Bernstein Theater at Shakespeare and Company until September 6.