Catholic Theatre and Drama

Critical Essays

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About the Book

The relationship between the Catholic Church and theatre has a long and complicated history. This collection of fourteen critical essays seeks to demystify the ties—both practical and ideological—that have long bound Catholicism to theatrical production. This volume offers insights into medieval theatre, Jesuit drama, ballet and opera, modern stagings of medieval liturgical drama, Lorca and Lope de Vega as Catholic playwrights, Italian Catholic women’s drama, Catholic play-wrighting and acting, and the unique challenges of teaching theatre in Catholic universities.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., is a professional actor and director whose previous books have covered topics ranging from Star Wars to Renaissance faires. He is a professor and chair of the theater department at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 235
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4741-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5779-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction: What Is Catholic Theatre?      1

KEVIN J. WETMORE, JR.

Part I. History

1. Female Spirituality, Female Sexuality and Re-Viewing “Re-Viewing Hrotsvit”: The Plays of Hrotsvit von Gandersheim as Counterdiscursive Inversion of the Church Fathers      17

KEVIN J. WETMORE, JR.

2. Not Just a University Theatre: The Significance of Jesuit School Drama in Continental Europe, 1540–1773      29

JOOHEE PARK

3. Shakespeare as Catholic Dramatist in The Tempest      45

MARY FRANCES WILLIAMS

4. Orthodoxy and Technique: Jesuit Ballet in the Post-Reformation Period      67

THE REV. ANGELA YARBER

5. Little Mothers, Mischievous Boys, and Good Little Christians: Characters in Children’s Parlor Plays in America, 1858–1903      75

SHANAN CUSTER

6. Religious Tragedy: García Lorca’s Unfinished Play About Christ      104

CECILIA GONZÁLEZ-ANDRIEU

7. Catholic Theatre for Women in Post-War Italy: Education, Morality, and Social Change      125

DANIELA CAVALLARO

Part II. Practice

8. Saints as Subject and Agenda: Notes on Catholic Playwriting      143

ERIK EHN

9. Magi Liturgical Dramas Performed in Worship: Two Case Studies of Interpretations of Medieval

Liturgical Drama      146

THE REV. THERESA MASON

10. Opera News: Jesuits, Catholic Imagination, and the Staging of Cultural Conversations      162

MICHAEL ZAMPELLI, S.J.

11. Ancient Ritual, Modern Drama: Catholic Worship and Playwriting Pedagogy      181

SUSAN BRABANT BAXTER

12. Genesius in the City of Angels: Lope de Vega as a Catholic Playwright in a Bilingual Production of Lo fingido verdadero      197

KEVIN J. WETMORE, JR.

13. The Genesian Effect: Performing Damien Deepens an Actor’s Faith      208

DAN CAWTHON

14. Publicity, Props and Playtext in a Franciscan Setting: The Practical Teaching of Everyman in a Small Catholic School      213

TIMOTHY DUGAN

About the Contributors      221

Index      223