The Play about the Antichrist (Ludus de Antichristo): A Dramaturgical Analysis, Historical Commentary, and Latin Edition with a New English Verse Tran (Early Drama) (Paperback)
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The Play about the Antichrist (Ludus de Antichristo) was composed around 1160 at the imperial Bavarian abbey of Tegernsee, at a critical point in the power-struggle between the papacy and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. This new translation and commentary reveals this drama to be strikingly representative of the role that theatrical performance played in shaping contemporary politics, diplomacy, and public opinion. It also shows how drama functioned as an integral component of the educational curricula of elite monastic institutions like Tegernsee, where political administrators and diplomats were trained, and how performance served as a common, connective lingua franca among monasteries in twelfth-century Bavaria. In this new translation, Carol Symes provides the first full and faithful rendering of the play's dynamic language, maintaining the meter, rhyme scheme, and stage directions of the Latin original and restoring the liturgical elements embedded in the text. Kyle A. Thomas, whose fully-staged production tested the theatricality of this translation, provides a new historical and dramaturgical analysis of the play's rich interpretive and performative possibilities.
About the Author
Kyle A. Thomas is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Missouri State University and a theatre historian with a specialization in medieval drama and performance. His work focuses on dramaturgical methodologies for analyzing early medieval Latin drama and postmodern approaches to staging medieval plays. His innovative staging techniques were applied in productions of The Play about the Antichrist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and The Play of Adam at the Met Cloisters, New York City. Kyle is also the chief editor of the journal, ROMARD: Research on Medieval and Renaissance Drama. Carol Symes is Professor of History, Theatre, Classics, and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has also published verse translations of the 12th-century Latin comedy Babio and of the Old French Ordo representacionis Ade (Play of Adam), which received its premiere at The Met Cloisters in New York City, in a production directed by Kyle A. Thomas. Her work interrogates the role of documentation as a medium of premodern communication and the mediation of knowledge in, and about, the medieval world.