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Medieval Theatre

Vocabulary

Timeline (What happened)

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Medieval era took place. Most medieval art is not documented due to the opposition from the church, lack of surviving records, and general illiteracy of the world.

The Catholic Church banned performances of plays, as an attempt to curb the remains of Roman theatre. In turn, the arts moved to mimes, jugglers, bards and storytellers. Hardly any records of these performers remain.

Medieval theatre met it's demise after the Protestant Reformation, in an effort to defeat England's allegiance to the Roman Catholic church, targeted theatre in England. People leaned toward enclosed stages for their entertainment, and thus, medieval theatre started to decline.

Plays Written

Remaining records remain of few plays from this era, incuding:

Types of plays / Acting style

Medieval plays tended to focus more on religion, and a dramatic acting style. Some plays were vertually operas; sung in Latin, and acted out by priests, choirboys, and nuns. There were some performances that were comedic in nature, like the Robin Hood plays. Plays were often in open-air courts.


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