A Companion to the Medieval Theatre

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9780313246470: A Companion to the Medieval Theatre

Vince has provided a useful and, for the most part, usable reference work. His introduction should be required reading for anyone approaching medieval theater. Choice

Scholars increasingly see medieval theatre as a complex and vital performance medium related more closely to political, religious, and social life than to literature as we know it. Reflecting the current interest in performance, A Companion to the Medieval Theatre presents 250 alphabetically arranged entries offering a panoramic view of European and British theatrical productions between the years 900 and 1550. The volume features 30 essays contributed by an international group of specialists and includes many shorter entries as well as systematic cross-referencing, a chronology, a bibliography, and a full complement of indexes.

Major entries focus on the theatres of the principal linguistic areas (the British Isles, France, Germany, Iberia, Italy, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and Eastern Europe), and on dramatic forms and genres such as liturgical drama, Passion and saint plays, morality plays, folk drama, and Humanist drama. Other articles examine costume, acting, pageantry, and music, and explore the theatrical dimension of courtly entertainment, the dance, and the tournament. Short entries supply information on over one hundred playwrights, directors, actors and antiquarians whose contributions to the theatre have been documented. This informative guide brings new depth to our appreciation of the richness and color of medieval public entertainments and the symbolism and pageantry that were a part of daily life in the Middle Ages. Designed to appeal to general reader, this volume is also an attractive choice for libraries serving students and scholars of theatre history, English and European literatures, medieval history, cultural history, drama, and performance.

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About the Author:

RONALD W. VINCE, Professor of English at McMaster University, has published numerous studies and contributed chapters and journal articles on topics in theatre and drama. Among his books are Ancient and Medieval Theatre, Renaissance Theatre, and Neoclassical Theater (Greenwood Press, 1984, 1984, 1988).

Review:

"The need for this work, according to its editor, Ronald W. Vince, arises from the tendency of general theater histories to give the theater of the Middle Ages proportionally less coverage than that of other periods. The approach taken by Vince in the Companion reflects recent studies of the medieval theater which have departed from a traditional emphasis on the dramatic text alone to focus on the elements of dramatic performance. In his preface to the Companion, Vince observes that "a medieval drama was an event rather than a literary text." The context (political, social, religious, etc.) in which these theatrical events took place demands as much consideration as the texts themselves. Accordingly, the emphasis in this work is on performance rather than literary analysis and/or appreciation. For the purposes of the Companion, the medieval period is defined as the years between 900 and 1550. The introduction notes that "the theatre we call medieval spans over 600 years, manifesting itself in more than a dozen languages and a great variety of forms." This is an indication of the scope of the material to be found in the Companion. In over 250 entries, ranging in size from several lines to several pages, the reader will find a wealth of information useful not only for the study of the theater in medieval times but for the study of the medieval period itself. Along with explanations of liturgical drama and morality plays, terms like joust, tilt, and chivalry are defined. Numerous entries are devoted to medieval personages and playwrights. Articles in the Companion are arranged alphabetically, with the subject heading printed in boldface type. Most are signed by their contributors; thoseunsigned are the work of the editor. Many of the entries are followed by brief, specialized bibliographies. While many of the articles are a paragraph or two in length, there are a number of longer treatments of broad topics, such as dance, music, and secular drama. Among these essay entries are overviews of medieval drama in particular countries or regions, e.g., Iberia (Spain and Portugal), the Low Countries, and the British Isles. In addition to the specialized source listings after many of the entries, there is a selected bibliography of works about the theater of the Middle Ages. The main part of the Companion is preceded by a chronology of more than twenty pages, highlighting events (literary and otherwise) of the period. One of the strengths of A Companion to the Medieval Theatre is its indexing. This work is indexed in four ways: by person, place, play, and subject. In all except the index of plays, the page numbers of actual entries in the Companion appear in italics. This is a boon to anyone who's ever found a term in an index only to go to the page listed and find nothing more than that word. Not only do see and see also references appear at the ends of many entries but there are internal cross-references to be found in the articles themselves, indicated by an asterisk preceding the term under which an entry may be found. Much of the information contained in the Companion has previously been available only to scholars. This reviewer did not find a single comparable source so accessible to the general reader. Although A Companion to the Medieval Theatre is not an encyclopedia, it is encyclopedic in the breadth of material it covers. It more than fulfills the editor's intent"to provide a handbook for the general reader and for the student of the theatre who is not a medievalist." The fact that it has been printed on acid-free paper assures its continued usefulness for a long time to come. Recommended for theater history and general history collections alike."-RQ

"This companion is divided into three parts, opening with a chronology extending from 200 to 1780 that exceeds the temporal limits of the rest of the book. Its detail is appreciable. . . . The companion itself follows; the third part combines a bibliography and indexes of persons, places, plays, and subjects. . . . Vince has provided a useful and, for the most part, usable reference work. His introduction should be required reading for anyone approaching medieval theater."-Choice

." . . A Companion to the Medieval Theatre successfully celebrates (and thereby elevates) the significance of this theater, which spanned more than 600 years and manifested itself in many countries, languages, and genres. Procession and spectacle, emblematic costume and decor, place-and-scaffolding staging; the Assumption play, eclogue, farce, mumming, and interlude; the liturgical drama, the Passion play, the saint play, and the morality play; folk drama, courtly entertainments, and tournament; secular and humanist drama--all are important to the world of medieval theater so thoroughly explored in this invaluable reference companion."-ARBA

"Performance, ' Ronald Vince remarks in his preface, is the key to the medieval theatre.' This new reference work uses that key to unlock dusty records and texts and reveal the glittering pageantry in which medieval society reveled. The thirty contributing scholars document dramatic and quasi-dramatic performances in Britain and Europe from approximately 900 to 1550 with the object of clarifying the theatrical context. The emphasis throughout is on stagings, audiences, authors, locations, and occasions. Whenever possible, references to modern productions and recordings support the hypotheses of scholars attempting to reconstruct the conditions of medieval theatre. Buttressing the alphabetically listed entries are an extensive chronology for rapid historical orientation, a selected bibliography, and four separate indexes for ease of reference to persons, places, plays, and subjects. The short introduction maps out the areas of theatrical activity which the entries explore. . . . An enriched understanding has also been the goal of A Companion to the Medieval Theatre. In that, it succeeds admirably."-Shakespeare Yearbook

?This companion is divided into three parts, opening with a chronology extending from 200 to 1780 that exceeds the temporal limits of the rest of the book. Its detail is appreciable. . . . The companion itself follows; the third part combines a bibliography and indexes of persons, places, plays, and subjects. . . . Vince has provided a useful and, for the most part, usable reference work. His introduction should be required reading for anyone approaching medieval theater.?-Choice

?. . . A Companion to the Medieval Theatre successfully celebrates (and thereby elevates) the significance of this theater, which spanned more than 600 years and manifested itself in many countries, languages, and genres. Procession and spectacle, emblematic costume and decor, place-and-scaffolding staging; the Assumption play, eclogue, farce, mumming, and interlude; the liturgical drama, the Passion play, the saint play, and the morality play; folk drama, courtly entertainments, and tournament; secular and humanist drama--all are important to the world of medieval theater so thoroughly explored in this invaluable reference companion.?-ARBA

?Performance, ' Ronald Vince remarks in his preface, is the key to the medieval theatre.' This new reference work uses that key to unlock dusty records and texts and reveal the glittering pageantry in which medieval society reveled. The thirty contributing scholars document dramatic and quasi-dramatic performances in Britain and Europe from approximately 900 to 1550 with the object of clarifying the theatrical context. The emphasis throughout is on stagings, audiences, authors, locations, and occasions. Whenever possible, references to modern productions and recordings support the hypotheses of scholars attempting to reconstruct the conditions of medieval theatre. Buttressing the alphabetically listed entries are an extensive chronology for rapid historical orientation, a selected bibliography, and four separate indexes for ease of reference to persons, places, plays, and subjects. The short introduction maps out the areas of theatrical activity which the entries explore. . . . An enriched understanding has also been the goal of A Companion to the Medieval Theatre. In that, it succeeds admirably.?-Shakespeare Yearbook

?The need for this work, according to its editor, Ronald W. Vince, arises from the tendency of general theater histories to give the theater of the Middle Ages proportionally less coverage than that of other periods. The approach taken by Vince in the Companion reflects recent studies of the medieval theater which have departed from a traditional emphasis on the dramatic text alone to focus on the elements of dramatic performance. In his preface to the Companion, Vince observes that "a medieval drama was an event rather than a literary text." The context (political, social, religious, etc.) in which these theatrical events took place demands as much consideration as the texts themselves. Accordingly, the emphasis in this work is on performance rather than literary analysis and/or appreciation. For the purposes of the Companion, the medieval period is defined as the years between 900 and 1550. The introduction notes that "the theatre we call medieval spans over 600 years, manifesting itself in more than a dozen languages and a great variety of forms." This is an indication of the scope of the material to be found in the Companion. In over 250 entries, ranging in size from several lines to several pages, the reader will find a wealth of information useful not only for the study of the theater in medieval times but for the study of the medieval period itself. Along with explanations of liturgical drama and morality plays, terms like joust, tilt, and chivalry are defined. Numerous entries are devoted to medieval personages and playwrights. Articles in the Companion are arranged alphabetically, with the subject heading printed in boldface type. Most are signed by their contributors; thoseunsigned are the work of the editor. Many of the entries are followed by brief, specialized bibliographies. While many of the articles are a paragraph or two in length, there are a number of longer treatments of broad topics, such as dance, music, and secular drama. Among these essay entries are overviews of medieval drama in particular countries or regions, e.g., Iberia (Spain and Portugal), the Low Countries, and the British Isles. In addition to the specialized source listings after many of the entries, there is a selected bibliography of works about the theater of the Middle Ages. The main part of the Companion is preceded by a chronology of more than twenty pages, highlighting events (literary and otherwise) of the period. One of the strengths of A Companion to the Medieval Theatre is its indexing. This work is indexed in four ways: by person, place, play, and subject. In all except the index of plays, the page numbers of actual entries in the Companion appear in italics. This is a boon to anyone who's ever found a term in an index only to go to the page listed and find nothing more than that word. Not only do see and see also references appear at the ends of many entries but there are internal cross-references to be found in the articles themselves, indicated by an asterisk preceding the term under which an entry may be found. Much of the information contained in the Companion has previously been available only to scholars. This reviewer did not find a single comparable source so accessible to the general reader. Although A Companion to the Medieval Theatre is not an encyclopedia, it is encyclopedic in the breadth of material it covers. It more than fulfills the editor's intent"to provide a handbook for the general reader and for the student of the theatre who is not a medievalist." The fact that it has been printed on acid-free paper assures its continued usefulness for a long time to come. Recommended for theater history and general history collections alike.?-RQ

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Descrizione libro ABC-CLIO, United States, 1989. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Vince has provided a useful and, for the most part, usable reference work. His introduction should be required reading for anyone approaching medieval theater. Choice Scholars increasingly see medieval theatre as a complex and vital performance medium related more closely to political, religious, and social life than to literature as we know it. Reflecting the current interest in performance, A Companion to the Medieval Theatre presents 250 alphabetically arranged entries offering a panoramic view of European and British theatrical productions between the years 900 and 1550. The volume features 30 essays contributed by an international group of specialists and includes many shorter entries as well as systematic cross-referencing, a chronology, a bibliography, and a full complement of indexes. Major entries focus on the theatres of the principal linguistic areas (the British Isles, France, Germany, Iberia, Italy, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and Eastern Europe), and on dramatic forms and genres such as liturgical drama, Passion and saint plays, morality plays, folk drama, and Humanist drama.Other articles examine costume, acting, pageantry, and music, and explore the theatrical dimension of courtly entertainment, the dance, and the tournament. Short entries supply information on over one hundred playwrights, directors, actors and antiquarians whose contributions to the theatre have been documented. This informative guide brings new depth to our appreciation of the richness and color of medieval public entertainments and the symbolism and pageantry that were a part of daily life in the Middle Ages. Designed to appeal to general reader, this volume is also an attractive choice for libraries serving students and scholars of theatre history, English and European literatures, medieval history, cultural history, drama, and performance. Codice libro della libreria APC9780313246470

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Descrizione libro ABC-CLIO, United States, 1989. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Vince has provided a useful and, for the most part, usable reference work. His introduction should be required reading for anyone approaching medieval theater. Choice Scholars increasingly see medieval theatre as a complex and vital performance medium related more closely to political, religious, and social life than to literature as we know it. Reflecting the current interest in performance, A Companion to the Medieval Theatre presents 250 alphabetically arranged entries offering a panoramic view of European and British theatrical productions between the years 900 and 1550. The volume features 30 essays contributed by an international group of specialists and includes many shorter entries as well as systematic cross-referencing, a chronology, a bibliography, and a full complement of indexes. Major entries focus on the theatres of the principal linguistic areas (the British Isles, France, Germany, Iberia, Italy, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and Eastern Europe), and on dramatic forms and genres such as liturgical drama, Passion and saint plays, morality plays, folk drama, and Humanist drama.Other articles examine costume, acting, pageantry, and music, and explore the theatrical dimension of courtly entertainment, the dance, and the tournament. Short entries supply information on over one hundred playwrights, directors, actors and antiquarians whose contributions to the theatre have been documented. This informative guide brings new depth to our appreciation of the richness and color of medieval public entertainments and the symbolism and pageantry that were a part of daily life in the Middle Ages. Designed to appeal to general reader, this volume is also an attractive choice for libraries serving students and scholars of theatre history, English and European literatures, medieval history, cultural history, drama, and performance. Codice libro della libreria APC9780313246470

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