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Festival of Early Drama takes place in Toronto from June 5th to 7th

Festival of Early DramaPoculi Ludique Societas (PLS) continues its year-long celebration of fifty years of performance research practice at the University of Toronto with the Festival of Early Drama.

The Festival of Early Drama includes productions presented by fifteen medieval and renaissance theatre troupes from across North America. Joining Poculi Ludique Societas are university theatre companies from New Orleans to Indiana, as well as the University of Western Ontario, Brock, and McMaster Universities and others across Ontario.

The festival kicks off at 6 pm on Friday June 5 with a performance of Ben Jonson’s Masque of Queens presented by Loyola University, New Orleans. This opening gala performance will be followed by a celebratory reception at 8 pm at Alumni Hall, Victoria University.

With multiple PWYC family-friendly events happening over two days on the University of Toronto campus, the Festival of Early Drama is sure to appeal to families, scholars, students, and medieval and early modern history enthusiasts. When asked what she hoped audiences would take away with them, Artistic Director Linda Phillips said, “Most people know about Shakespeare, but they don’t know about the theatrical traditions that influenced him and his contemporaries. This festival showcases the huge variety of early drama: moralities, farces, comedies, tragedies and more.”

The history of PLS is traced to 1964, beginning as part of the work for a University of Toronto graduate seminar in Medieval Drama when the  director, Professor John Leyerle, invited the class to stage a medieval play.  Excited by the success of their production of Everyman, the members of the class came together again the following year to stage another play, and PLS was born. Fifty years and more than 150 productions later, PLS is known around the world for its pioneering performances of the drama of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Click here to learn more about the Festival of Early Drama

This video shows one of the performances of Poculi Ludique Societas from 1988:

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