Staging Faith: East Anglian Drama in the Later Middle Ages

Synopsis

"Staging Faith examines the relationship between faith and stagecraft in late medieval East Anglia, especially focusing on attitudes towards art and drama. The evidence demonstrates that the East Anglian stage served as a particularly vivid object of pious memory, meditation, and devotion in its own right. Drama was not just the container of devotional images, however. It also functioned as a didactic tool, a mnemonic device, and even as a subversive commentary on contemporary conditions. Powerful symbols, often dramatically embodied as stage settings, props, and actions, are central to the structure of East Anglian plays, giving them religious, social, and theatrical impact. Illustrating this thesis through an examination of the plays themselves, Staging Faith explores how different modes of production resulted in different types of dramatic organization, different relationships between the audience and the dramatic action, and how dramatists exploited the symbolic and affective potential of different types of settings, props, and dramatic actions. The simple place-and-scaffold play accommodated an oppositional structure, one that could be embodied spatially in the arrangement of the scaffolds and further articulated in processional action. The symbolic images in these dramas often have a strongly devotional character and attempt to unite the play's audience around a central devotional object or scene." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved