The Staging of the York Corpus Christi Plays

The York Corpus Christi Cycle, a collection of brief plays that together tell Biblical history from Creation to Doomsday, was the most complex of the medieval mystery cycles. The surviving manuscript of 48 plays (with a combined length four times that of the longest Hamlet text) and the civic and guild records of the town of York give us much information on the nature of those productions, which took place annually on the feast of Corpus Christi from the late 14th century to the early 16th century. The scholarly debate over how the plays were performed has settled down in favor of what had been the traditional view — that each short play, mounted on an individual stage-wagon, was pulled through the streets of York, stopping to perform for audiences that had gathered at predetermined “stations” along the route. —Dennis G. JerzThe Staging of the York Corpus Christi Plays (PSim: York Corpus Christi Pageant Simulator)

This article is getting musty, but I like trotting it out as the Feast of Corpus Christi nears.



I update the home page fairly regularly, considering I did the programming 10 years ago (during the summer before my wedding) and got the article published 7 years ago. (Egad, what a horrid background image I used…)