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26 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

What was the dark ages ?

It was a period after the fall of Rome 600AD

How did the church become the "government" during that time?!

There was a lot of political turmoil and there was no reliable structure and the church was the only stable "government"

What references to theatre are there between 600-1000AD?

Actors, jugglers, rope dancers in nomadic tribes, remnants of Roman mimes and popular pagan festivals and rites

Who become the primary preserver of tribal histories?

The Teutonic minstrils or troubadours but they converted to Christianity and the minstrils were denounced, branded as bad as mimes

At what ceremonies brought back theatre?

Christian ceremonies

Why did the church perhaps have little choice but to reintroduce theatre?

They couldn't stop the pagen rights from happening and it was to popular. Many of these pagen rights found themselves in Christian ceremonies

What was the Trope?

It was s four line dramatization of the resurrection with direction for its performance.

It came from an easter trope

Earliest existing drama

Sung by choir at first

Called the Quem Quaeritis

The Three Marys come to the tomb of Jesus and the angel asks them who they are looking for.

It become a little drama within the service

Practice blossomed, many playlets developed dealing with biblical themes

Who did the theatre undergo change?

At first the church had control of drama outside of chuch but then it become more cortrolled by secular groups

The Guilds took over in some cities and it was common for some guilds to retain control over certain plays/ stories based on the bible or religious teachings

Municipalities took over in some cities but the church still needed to approve the scripts

Where would the performances take place?

Mansions: small scenic structures for indicating location . In complex plays there where many mansions

Platea: General acting area, adjacent to the mansions

Why would they use machinary?

For scenes to fly Christ up to heaven, have angels come down Etc

What costumes might they have used?

Church vestments

What language where the plays in by 1350 rather than Latin?

Vernacular (language of the people)

Who where the actors in these plays?

Laymen (actors)

Male members of the community


No longer clerics or priests

Why did they begin to move outdoors?

Expanding needs of the plays

What was the master copy of the script and what power did the producing company have on it?

It was called the Register

They could monopolize or censor or ban it

Who was the Master of Secrets ?

The Persia who was in charge of the machines - special affects

How where scenes commonly set out regarding different levels of life?

Heaven on right

Hell on left

Earth middle

What where the main kinds of stages?



What where the characteristics of fixed stages ?

Technical trucks where more extensive in fixed stages

They where set stages

Mansions where set up in available spaces

Heaven and hell where on opposite sides

What are the characteristics of moveable stages?

Stages on wheels

Pageant wagons moved through the streets while audience stayed in one place

Plays performed in sequence thus each play performed several times

Why would one think medieval drama seems naive if they didn't understand the period?

They had little sense of history and only reflected the limited knowledge they had

How did the medieval mind look at earth?

They saw it as s transitory and heaven and hell were the final destinations

What where the 3 kinds of religious plays?

Mystery plays

About Christ or from the Old Testament usually done in cycles

Miracle plays

Lives of saints, historical and legendary

Morality Plays

Didactic allegories often of a common mans struggle for salvation

What characteristics did the religious plays have in common?

Aimed to teach or reinforce Christian beliefs

Melodramatic, good rewarded, evil punished

God and his plan were the driving forces not the characters

Explain what the medieval secular plays where about

Very popular

Moralities: secularised; allegories based on classical gods and heroes often with some political content

Mummings and disguising - given at wealthy homes on holidays

Pantomimes, dancer and narrated stories

Interludes and masques - between courses at a banquet, masques were allegorical compliments to the guests - with intricate dances and spectacle

What where the celebrations regarding secular plays about?

In honor of dignitaries