drummer and dog

All the World's a Stage:
REED's WWW Links for Theatre History and Early Music:
1. Mediaeval and Early Modern Theatre

Will Kemp

  1. The PLS, our own local mediaeval performance group, now has its own WWW page, with information on performances past and present. They will be posting information there as soon as it is available about the videos made at the 1998 Toronto presentation of the York Cycle. (A number of PLS productions are available for sale or rent on videotape, part of the University of Toronto's extensive series of mediaeval videos. For more information, click here.) For reflections on and recollections of individual productions, you can visit the following sites: Steve Wright's overview of the whole event; the page of Duquesne University's Medieval and Renaissance Players; Stephen Johnson's pages on the Last Judgement pageant. (For a fully-revised version of the text modernisation commissioned by PLS for this event, visit the modernised performance texts elsewhere on this site.)

  2. Other early drama groups also have established Web sites. EDAM offers a listing of all publications from the Early Drama, Art, and Music project (including articles in the EDAM Newsletter and EDAM Review) at its site. MRDS (The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society) now provides membership information and some back issues of the MRDS Newsletter. Medieval English Theatre (METh) has a website with information about meetings and other events as well as about their journal. RORD (Research Opportunites in Renaissance Drama) provides subscription information and listings of contents for recent issues.

  3. The Lost Plays Database is a wiki-style resource for scholarship on lost plays from early modern England, co-edited by Roslyn Knutson and David McInnis.

  4. Sydney Higgins at the University of Camerino in Italy maintains a very useful site that, like this one, has many annotated links as well as the on-line Bibliography of Cornish Medieval Drama. Another site with usefully-classified links is Gerard NeCastro's Medieval and Renaissance Drama page.

  5. NetSerf, a general mediaeval site, has a helpful drama section. The Literature and the "arts" section of Early Modern Resources includes an eclectic and interesting list of links, many of which are concerned with early drama or music. Another site including links for early modern drama is Richard Bear's Early Modern Blogroll. For English drama of the Restoration (and beyond), visit The World of London Theater--1660-1800.

  6. Research about traditional folk plays (such as mumming plays) is the focus of the English Folk Play Research Home Page, a site run by the Traditional Drama Research Group affiliated with the University of Sheffield.

  7. Now being expanded and updated on a monthly basis, REED's Patrons and Performances web site is an interdisciplinary educational web site based on REED research. When complete, it will combine a wealth of period images (eg, maps, ground plans, photographs and illustrations of playing venues, and eventually patrons' portraits) and illustrative modern maps with data on troupe's patrons as well as their itineraries.

  8. Another REED resource being put on-line is the Anglo-Latin Wordbook, a compilation of the Latin vocabulary glossed in the Bristol (1997), Cambridge (1989), Cheshire (2007), Cornwall (1999), Dorset (1999), Ecclesiastical London (2008), Herefordshire (1990), Inns of Court (2010), Kent: Diocese of Canterbury (2002), Lancashire (1991), Lincolnshire (2009), Oxford (2004), Shropshire (1994), Somerset (1996), Sussex (2000), Wales (2007), and Worcestershire (1990) collections. Although concentrated on the vocabulary of drama, pastime, and music, REED Latin Glossaries include all words not found in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, or those whose classical meaning has changed or become restricted in medieval or Renaissance usage. Joining the Wordbook are two other in-house resources we are pleased to make more widely available, the revised 1990 edition of the REED Handbook for Editors, originally published in 1980 and the in-house guidelines for palaeographic checking, "Guidelines for Checking REED Records Text".

  9. The Internet Archive has made PDFs of the first twenty-four volumes in the REED series available at their site.

  10. A site likely to prove indispensible for those interested in the known people behind Elizabethan Theatre is Dave Kathman's site, A Biographical Index to the Elizabethan Theater. Dave is one of the contributors to the Shakespeare Authorship Page (referenced in the Shakespeare section). Another Elizabethan-oriented site, hard to classify but fun to explore is The Elizabethan World.

  11. Now available is the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project, which has digitised the theatrical papers of Philip Henslowe and Edward Alleyn held at Dulwich College. This free electronic archive offers high-quality digital images of over 2000 manuscript pages, including: all of Henslowe's and Alleyn's Diaries; the Fortune Theatre contract; the Rose Theatre partnership; the manuscript of the play The Telltale; the actor's part of Orlando Furioso; the plot of The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins; Alleyn's Memorandum Book; a transcription of two poems in Ben Jonson's handwriting; bull- and bear-baiting documents; and hundreds of other documents. Also included are fifteen digital essays on the most important documents by such scholars as R. A. Foakes, Julian Bowsher, and S. P. Cerasano.

  12. A must-see site for students of the York Cycle and other mediaeval English cycle plays is The York Doomsday Pageant.

  13. Two sites offering a multimedia approach to exploring mediaeval or other early theatre are: Dennis Jerz' York Pageant Simulator, providing 'computer software that models the motion of pageant wagons during a simulated York Corpus Christi Procession', and Florimene at the Court of Charles I: The Court Masque, demonstrating the visual exploration of a Stuart masque.

  14. For resources focussed on French mediaeval drama, visit the French Medieval Drama Databases Project. Available there are on-line bibliographies for Mediaeval French Drama; descriptions of and images from play MSS; and le Corpus du théâtre religieux français du moyen âge and a bibliography of French Miracle and Mystery Plays, both prepared by Graham Runnalls. Also of interest is Théâtrales, a page described by its developers as 'une collection d'hypertextes en français sur le théâtre'. It began by covering two topics, the history of theatre in Quebec and the seventeenth and eighteenth century French marionette theatre, but has been expanded to include other things, such as dramatic texts.

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