When mystery plays began to emerge in marketplaces for public consumption, the authors switched from speaking Latin to the local vernacular language. Large Jaws to emulate the "Mouth of Hell" were constructed that opened and closed with the aid of pulleys. "Le Mystère de la Passion" by Arnoul Gréban first premiered in Valenciennes, France.
Other passion plays emerged including the "Oberammergau" and the "York Cycle." The miracle play began to grow in popularity during the 12th century while morality plays started around 1410. "Everyman" dramatizes death's impending arrival.
Johan de Meester worked with the Nederlandse Comedie, Residentie Tooneel, and directed the miracle for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Theater Arts. Mary is sent to the market by her uncle, a priest. Her aunt drives Mary away because she is frustrated with local politics.
The devil Moenen convinces Mary to give up her soul in exchange for learning the seven lively arts. The aunt commits suicide. The devil casts Mary down when she infuriates him; the pope saves her life but says she must wear iron cuffs until she redeems her soul.
Credits: Medieval Theater
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This video traces the evolution and characteristics of the theater of the Middle Ages, looking at Everyman and The York Mystery Cycle and presents scenes from the medieval play Mary of Nijmegen.
Length: 17 minutes
Copyright date: ©1983
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