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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 309: Where are the Borders?: Performers and Audiences in Religious Plays

Monday 6 July 2020, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Société internationale pour l'étude du théatre médiéval (SITM)
Organiser:Cora Dietl, Institut für Germanistik, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
Moderator/Chair:Cora Dietl, Institut für Germanistik, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
Paper 309-aPerformers and Audiences in English Parish and City Plays
(Language: English)
Alexandra F. Johnston, Records of Early English Drama, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Middle English, Performance Arts - Drama, Religious Life
Paper 309-bProducers, Participants, Performers?: Confraternity Members and Their Festivals
(Language: English)
Pamela M. King, School of Critical Studies (English Language), University of Glasgow
Index terms: Language and Literature - Spanish or Portuguese, Performance Arts - General, Performance Arts - Drama, Printing History
Paper 309-cThose without Roles in Liturgical Enactments: Participants or Members of an Audience?
(Language: English)
Nils Holger Petersen, Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals, Københavns Universitet
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Liturgy, Performance Arts - Drama, Religious Life

Can we clearly distinguish between audiences, participants, performers and producers of medieval religious plays? Are there any borderlines drawn and crossed? Paper (a) asks about the relation between performers and audiences as it is reflected not only in the plays, but especially in records about the plays. Thereby the paper compares English parish plays (organised by small communities) and in city processional plays (i.e. large community ceremonies), with a special focus on York, Chester, and Coventry. Paper (b) compares civic confraternal festivals in Seville, Bruges, etc., with their medieval origins. It focusses on the performative nature of confraternal membership as it is recorded in the late Middle Ages and can be witnessed now. Thereby it considers the deployment of exclusive sign-systems during the festival and looks at how they gesture towards broader, valued and durable social meanings. Paper (c) discusses the role of those, who do not have a described role, but are still considered in medieval liturgical ceremonies as 'homines circumstantes'. The paper focusses on the Bordesholmer Marienklage (1476). It contains a preface, which insists on the fact that this is neither a play nor an entertainment, and still describes who should take which role, and where the 'circumstantes' should be.