La seinte resureccion
La Seinte Resureccion is a mystery play from the late 12th century detailing the resurrection of Christ. Unfortunately, the extant manuscripts are incomplete, and the play ends with the arrest of Joseph of Arimathia. Instead of focusing on the plot or the characters which is woefully incomplete, I'd like to turn to the staging of this piece. There is a narrator character who at times explains key plot points, that honestly could have been communicated through action, but more often his function is to delineate space. He opens the play with a description of the environment. The play takes place in several different locations, often moving quickly one to the other, and the playwright has decided that in order to accommodate the quick changes in space, that all spaces will exist simultaneously with the narrator character moving the audience between them. There are several clear props and set pieces, such as the cross, the tower of David, and the spear that pierces Christ's side, and the narrator functions as an additional descriptor and clarifier of the environment. This is interesting not because it solves the clear problem of financing large set pieces and crews to change the scenery, but it indicates that these matters of production were being considered in the process of the creation of the play itself. This suggests that other theatre practitioners, something resembling producers, directors, or designers, may have collaborated with the playwright in order to take practical production issues into consideration.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University