Medieval Arras, Theatre.
Operating from the premise that five surviving plays from thirteenth- century Arras are the products of a particular environment and therefore that their meaning is referential and contemporary, Symes argues against the traditionalist approach by which well-known works including Jehan Bodel's Jeu de saint Nicolas and Adam de la Halle's Jeu de Robin et Marion have been interpreted generically as examples of early French literary drama. Since medieval plays constitute the "scripted remains of activities" (2) that were publicly endorsed and publicly displayed, Symes maintains that they reflect instead the specific performance culture in which and to which they were speaking. Unrivaled in that era, according to the author, the town of Arras constituted a "maelstrom of conflicting politics, unprecedented economic opportunities, and unfamiliar types of social mobility." (4) As such it is uniquely qualified as a forum from which to counter previously-held notions of "national" theaters and their theatrical offerings.
The Medieval Review
Required Publisher's Statement
Published by Indiana University
Hamblin, Vicki L., "Carol Symes. A Common Stage: Theatre and Public Life in Medieval Arras" (2008). Modern & Classical Languages. 56.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
French drama--To 1500--History and criticism; Theater and society--France--Arras--History--To 1500
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Carol Symes. A Common Stage. Theatre and Public Life in Medieval Arras