USA & Australia Archives and Repositories

Within the U.S.A. and Australia twentieth century productions of medieval plays have centred on academic institutions - whether with a view to scholarly reconstruction of the drama or an exercise in theatrical exploration.

Consequently, we have organised our reference material around university locations, mentioning the individuals concerned when appropriate to facilitate future investigations.


University of California, Irvine

During the mid-1980s at UC Irvine, as a part of a three-year funded Focused Research Program in Medieval Theatre, Robert Cohen (Claire Trevor Professor of Drama) adapted and produced 17 Corpus Christi Cycle plays over three consecutive summers.

The production books for each show are available through Special Collections at UC Irvine as a part of the Robert Cohen papers (Boxes 8-11). Single camera archival VHS video recordings of each production were made and await transfer to DVD. Professor Cohen has provided pdf of a collection of reviews and other materials on the first two years of the 1980s research program. Links to three downloadable images from the 1985 production are also posted below.

The N.Towne Passion production was restaged in 1990 for a professional video recording made with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is currently available as a DVD.

In 2000 Cohen staged a production of the Castle of Perseverance with a text adapted by Edgar Schell. The production book for this also resides with UC Irvine Special Collections, and is available on request. An archival VHS video recording also exists.

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

"The Harlotry Players" is the name under which the Drama Concentration of the Residential College, University of Michigan has produced early drama since 1983.

It was begun by Professor Martin Walsh and the majority of its two dozen productions, of various sizes, have been produced and directed by him. The material includes production photographs, set designs, performance texts, press cuttings, programmes and publicity material.

Harlotry Players Collection Level Description (PDF 41Kb)

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University of Sydney

Between 1968 and 1980 the Sydney Mediaeval and Renaissance Society was responsible for a series of productions of medieval cycle plays. The substantial set of archival materials that have been retained include scripts, photographs, video recordings costume designs, musical scores, programmes and production files. These currently await deposit with the University of Sydney archives. A preparatory list of the contents is available below as a PDF file.