The Staging of Drama in the Medieval Church

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University of Delaware Press, 2003 - Drama - 251 pages
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Using original rubrics from some 1,200 manuscripts, this book documents performance of the liturgical drama from the tenth through the sixteenth centuries. It opens with the question of ritual origins and an examination of early practice at Winchester Cathedral. In rare instances the manuscripts derive from still extant churches, such as the Cathedrals of Essen and Rouen. Here, Dunbary Ogden has laid out the staging space and traced the movements of the performers on architectural ground plans. The rubrics reveal a wealth of information about the creation of character through ecclesiastical vestments and other costumes. From these manuscript instructions, Ogden has also compiled a surprising range of directives for voice, gesture, and dumb show. In the final chapter he has singled out special moments where the music carries narrative and heightens emotion. No other study has been undertaken on this scale and in this detail. The volume provides a major0 theatrical source book for students and scholars in the field of drama. Dunbar H. Ogden is Professor of Dramatic Art at the University of California, Berkeley.

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