English Mystery Plays – Staging Patterns and Orality Features
Masaryk University, in Brno, Faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies, June (2006)
Throughout the twentieth century, there has been a great rise of interest in medieval drama. There has also been a great shift in the interpretation of medieval plays. Medieval drama was recreated from a lower stage in the development of theatre to a mature and sophisticated genre that deserves the same attention as the theatre of the forthcoming periods. Modern attempts to stage medieval plays brought new insights into their theatricality. Warm reception of the audiences showed their vitality. Medieval plays now serve as a source of valuable information about the medieval society. Furthermore, they are also a rich source of inspiration for modern playwrights.
In my thesis, I am primarily interested in the methods of presentation and oral features of medieval plays. I will divide my thesis in two main chapters. In the chapter on staging, I will concentrate on various methods of staging and performance and the theatrical reality they create. In the chapter on orality, I will concentrate on the features of society which communicates without the aid of writing. I will analyse these orality features in the medieval plays. I will try to prove the influence that oral communication has in shaping the basic formative features of the plays.