Staging the Medieval Religious Play in Virtual Reality

Annika Rockenberger
2018 Zenodo  
Late Medieval Germany has seen the emergence of the so-called religious play as the predominant 'dramatic' form in an institutional context, while the theatre tradition of Greek and Latin Antiquity had been discontinued. Contents of these plays were mostly taken from the New and Old Testament (incl. Apocrypha) as well as hagiography. However, settings and themes from the secular sphere were often included as social satire and for comic relief. Performed during Christian Holidays, and often
more » ... twined with liturgy and church parades, their venues and 'stages' were either set in(side) sacral spaces (churches or other religious buildings) or within close proximity: like central markets or town squares. Religious plays are often believed to have been performed over the course of several days, employing multiple setting ('Simultanbühne'), that allowed for a non-chronological as well as a perpetual acting and a non-stationary, oscillating focus of the audience. The plays have survived in manuscripts, scrolls, and sketches – sometimes containing a large amount of text for one specific Holiday or several Holidays (Easter & Corpus Christi, Passion), other times only containing text for specific roles or parts. They are often heavily edited by various scribal hands and survived in poor condition due to them being used over long periods of time. Both the older and the more current scholarly editions of these religious plays often do not take their unique character into account when it comes to performance and setting. Instead, as a result of anachronistic projections the antique theatre or more modern forms of drama (like the Shakespearean stage) are evoked by the mode of representation of the edited texts which has lead to inadequate, misinformed, or flawed interpretations of single plays and an overall misconception of medieval dramatic forms. Against this, I propose to take full advantage of current technological possibilities such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 3D-modelling to create a probabilistic m [...]
doi:10.5281/zenodo.1494896 fatcat:5ep3iwmu3vhtlnr3cmdtestdpu