Birth of theatre
The mass was primarily musical and the confident notes of the choir joined the organ tones.
Richly robed priests and ministrants passed in stately processions enveloped in incense. They read a lot of bible stories and sometimes displayed painted rolls which pictured the principle events of the days lesson.
However a lack was felt & accidently and slowly the dramatizing of the service began. First to be treated was the central incident of Christian faith.
During Good Friday service, the cross above the alter was taken down and laid beneath the alter which was a dramatic symbol of death & burial. On the Third day, easter Sunday the story of the Resurrection was chanted by the choir and the cross was uncovered and replaced. After this a little dramatic action was introduced. One priest dressed in white sat(angel), by one of the square built tombs and 3 others personating the Marys, advanced slowly towards him while they chanted their portion of the same dialogue. The Easter play was enlarged, in part by additions from the closing incidents of saviours life.
Similar treatment was given to Christmas scene. Occasionally the 2 scenes were combined and presented at any season of the year. Other Biblical scenes were also enacted. There were other stories from Christian tradition such as the Anti-christ and The Lives of Saint’s. These compositions were called Liturgical plays because they formed a part of the church. Religious events like the mass, baptism etc embody theatrical elements. Priests began to incorporate such elements into the gospel lessons of the mass. The first short plays were called the Tropes, written in Latin were performed by the clergy during the mass.
Mystery, Miracle and Morality Plays
Three types of plays grew out of the Medieval period: Mystery, Miracle, and Morality. All three flourished in different areas of Britain and Europe and yet each had a short life. In England, for example, the plays were either...