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Time to Play

Spring 2010 | By Eric Nelson. Photo by Megan Lloyd.

A troupe of students led by Paul White and Gordon McCall from CLA’s Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MARS) program are rehearsing Adam and Eve for Chester 2010, a restaging of the complete cycle of 23 processional pageant-wagon plays performed in the city of Chester, England, from 1555 to 1575.

The restaging of the biblical cycle coincides with an academic symposium examining the use of modern performance to explore medieval staging practices and audience reception. Both will be held over the three days of the Victoria Day Holiday (May 21 to May 24) on the campuses of St. Michael’s College and Victoria College at the University of Toronto in Canada.

The production of the colorful pageants will be shared by PLS (Poculi Ludique Societas) and acting companies from all over North America, including Purdue, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Michigan, and other college and community groups.

“We are very excited about participating in this historic event,” says White, who has written extensively on the cycle plays. “Hitched to a study abroad course slated for Maymester, the project is a great way for our students to learn all facets of medieval performance firsthand and to engage with like-minded students and scholars.”

Adds McCall, a veteran director of early drama and pageantry, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as a wonderful opportunity to showcase Purdue’s talents and perhaps recruit new students.”

White is director of the MARS program, as well as an English professor. McCall joined MARS as assistant director in May 2009. He is a professor and head of the directing program in the Department of Theatre.

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