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The Middle Ages Theatre History Drama 1.

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Presentation on theme: "The Middle Ages Theatre History Drama 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Middle Ages Theatre History Drama 1

2 Movie Clip From Monty Python and The Holy Grail
What did you notice about the setting? What did you notice about the people? What does this say about the culture or the time period?

3 Rebirth of Drama Came from the Christian Church
Most of the people could not read, so they used theatre to teach people about Christianity Latin was used just like in Mass Performers: Priests, Nuns, Choirboys

4 5th to 15th Century Became more and more elaborate, so they were eventually moved outdoors The drama eventually expanded beyond Latin Also, members of the Parish became apart of the performances

5 Miracle Plays: based on legend of saints
Mystery Plays: tell stories based on biblical history Passion Play: tells the story of the last week in the life of Christ

6 First performed with Mansions
Mansions: series of acting stations placed in a line, also called houses Examples: Heaven, Pilate’s House, Jerusalem, and Hell’s Mouth Hell’s Mouth: breathed fire and smoke, jaws opened and closed, the actors playing the wicked were pushed into it

7 Mansions

8 Performed usually during Corpus Christi: a festival
Late 14th century: medieval trade unions (guilds) took over the plays in England Performed usually during Corpus Christi: a festival Each guild had its own part of the story Bakers: The Last Supper Goldsmiths: The Three Wisemen Shipwrights: Construction of the Ark

9 Pageant Wagons A stage on wheels Each guild had their own Two levels:
Upper: platform stage Lower: curtained for a dressing room

10 Audience stayed in one place as wagons traveled from town to town
Cycle: series of short plays that depicted religious history from creation to the end Guilds competed against each other trying to make their pageant wagon performance the most elaborate

11 There were also some secular plays The Second Shepherd’s Play
About a clever man named Mak who steals a sheep, and makes people believe it is his son by hiding it in a crib

12 First Acting Companies
Groups of players who traveled around performing miracle and mystery plays Church did not care for them, so they lost popularity Later, they found a new audience with the nobility

13 Morality Play More about right and wrong
Usually consisted of symbolic characters who represented some extreme quality Everyman is still performed today Written in Dutch in 1495 Translated into English later

14 Other forms of Theatre Interludes: short, funny sketches performed in between serious plays Chronicle Plays: based on historical events Masques: artistic spectacles that glorified the nobility and were for noble entertainment

15 Discussion Page 304 If today’s trade unions or guilds performed plays to celebrate their crafts like in the middle ages, what stories might some of them choose?

16 Sources Schanker, Harry H. and Katharine Anne Ommanney. The Stage and The School. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

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