Session Title

New Approaches to Drama Records: East Anglian Play Texts and Nearby Archives

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS)

Organizer Name

Matthew Sergi

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Toronto

Presider Name

Matthew Sergi

Paper Title 1

The Conversion of Saint Paul: Can the Play Text and the Archival Records Have a Mutually Illuminating Conversation?

Presenter 1 Name

James Stokes

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Paper Title 2

East Anglian Staging(s) of The Conversion of Saint Paul

Presenter 2 Name

Gordon Kipling

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Los Angeles

Paper Title 3

Mayoral Entries in Late Sixteenth-Century Norwich: Shillings, Staging, and Civic Pride

Presenter 3 Name

Colin Rowley

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Toronto

Paper Title 4

Kingmaking and Playmaking in Fifteenth-Century East Anglia: Records of Drama and Performance during the War of the Roses

Presenter 4 Name

John A. Geck

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland

Start Date

12-5-2017 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1280

Description

So much of the known corpus of medieval English dramatic texts can be traced to East Anglia that literary historians have assumed that the area’s local performance conventions were typical of all premodern English performance. However, thus far no records from nearby archives have yielded evidence of any live production of the extant play texts. The plays include some prescriptive cues for live performance, but there is no corresponding descriptive record of how or whether those cues were enacted. Meanwhile, for the rich array of live productions that East Anglian and nearby archives do describe, neither dialogue nor stage directions survive. Early drama scholars who study East Anglia must consider plays and records in uneasy relation to each other, or at least in relation to a broader range of local traditions and practices within which both playscripts and productions were conceived. Our paper session, timed with the upcoming publication of new Records of Early English Drama for Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, will think through that methodological crux, considering how we might read the archives through the plays and the plays through the archives.

Frank M. Napolitano

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May 12th, 3:30 PM

New Approaches to Drama Records: East Anglian Play Texts and Nearby Archives

Schneider 1280

So much of the known corpus of medieval English dramatic texts can be traced to East Anglia that literary historians have assumed that the area’s local performance conventions were typical of all premodern English performance. However, thus far no records from nearby archives have yielded evidence of any live production of the extant play texts. The plays include some prescriptive cues for live performance, but there is no corresponding descriptive record of how or whether those cues were enacted. Meanwhile, for the rich array of live productions that East Anglian and nearby archives do describe, neither dialogue nor stage directions survive. Early drama scholars who study East Anglia must consider plays and records in uneasy relation to each other, or at least in relation to a broader range of local traditions and practices within which both playscripts and productions were conceived. Our paper session, timed with the upcoming publication of new Records of Early English Drama for Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, will think through that methodological crux, considering how we might read the archives through the plays and the plays through the archives.

Frank M. Napolitano