Screen capture from the Barking Abbey Plays, one of the productions from the Medieval Convent Drama Project

Friday 13 April – Saturday 14 April 2019


Peoples and Places: Networks, Communities, and Early Theatre


University of Fribourg, Switzerland


The 2019 Medieval English Theatre Meeting, celebrating 40 years of METh, will be on 13-14 April at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, hosted by Elisabeth Dutton and Olivia Robinson. The theme will be Peoples and Places: Networks, Communities, and Early Theatre.





Theatre is inevitably collaborative, as actors, with the help of designers and creators of costumes, props, sets, present script-writers’ words to a generally willing and cooperative audience. In order to understand Early Theatre, it is often necessary to consider very particular types of collaboration, seeing plays as the distinctive products of specific communities, considering the importance of specific performance sites to a play’s interpretation, exploring the significance of certain social groups or networks — religious, professional, academic — as creators and audiences of individual productions.


This kind of understanding will inevitably draw together a range of evidence in a scholarly enterprise that is often also highly collaborative: historical fact drawn from the archives; literary insight drawn from textual analysis; information about material circumstances drawn from practical performance research.


For forty years, the conferences of Medieval English Theatre have offered an opportunity for intellectual collaboration, and the journal has presented some of the best scholarship that has resulted from the vibrant intellectual network that is METh. At this celebratory conference, honouring the first 40 years of METh, we invite papers that explore examples of early theatre as site-specific, or as the products of particular networks or communities, medieval or post-medieval.


Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Multiple hands in play manuscripts
  • The influence of patrons on plays, whether individuals or groups such as guilds
  • Adaptation of plays for a particular historical performance or location
  • Adaptation of performance texts for print
  • Transmission of play texts through networks of religious orderss
  • Confessional adaptation of plays at the Reformation
  • Critical reflections on early plays translated e.g. The South African Mysteries
  • Critical reflections on post-medieval adaptations e.g. Duffy's Everyman

Please submit your proposals for 20 minute papers, by December 1st, 2018, to Elisabeth Dutton:


A printable version of this Call for Papers.


Back to Meeting 2019

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© Meg Twycross 2019