The Staging the Play of Adam project aims to re-stage the twelfth century Play of Adam (Tours, Bibliothèque Municipale MS 927) as a case study for testing the boundaries of practice-based research in medieval drama. The restaging will be an interdisciplinary collaboration of students from MEMS, English, and Arts at the University of Kent and is intended to increase the involvement of undergraduate and postgraduate students in research projects. Many of these students will have been involved with Early Drama (EN302) and Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama (EN694) and some will also have experience in theatre either through performance or through production work. The project will allow those who have previous experience in theatre and research to mentor other students and will also allow academics from the Performance Cultures Research Group to explore early drama through a performance-oriented project. The project is funded jointly by the School of English and the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent.
The Play of Adam will be performed at St. Stephen’s Parish Church, Canterbury in two stages. A work-in-progress performance will take place on Wednesday, June 10th at 4:00pm and will be followed by a Q&A with the actors and production team. The aim of the first stage of the project will be to garner feedback from the audience and other academics about the production. The second performance will take place on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 5:30pm as a part of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies Seminar Series and will be open to the public. This second performance will incorporate some of the feedback from the work in progress production. Following the final performance, the audience will be invited to participate in a discussion with the actors and production team about the project’s findings.
As a part of the preparations for the two performances the actors and production team will be exploring medieval sources for visual and textual evidence as well as scholarly criticism of medieval drama. The production team will use these sources in order to make decisions related to costumes and staging while the cast will also be exploring early acting techniques and how these might be employed on the modern stage. Since the documentary evidence for the text is limited, the final result of the project will find a balance between faithful reconstruction of the medieval performance and modern re-staging of a historical text in order to explore the efficacy of practice-based research.
If you have any questions about the project please do not hesitate to get in touch with the project team using the details on the contacts page.