Medieval World Drama

This working group is intended to make the study of medieval plays less insular. First, we de-centre England, whose texts are grossly overrepresented in academic publications and play productions. Each month, we gather to read through a medieval play that has been translated into present-day English from any language other than English. We often seek out medieval plays in translation from outside western Europe (hence world drama). Our readings last year were translated from premodern French, Arabic, Japanese, Dutch, Chinese, Danish, Czech, K’iche’, and Spanish. Second, we adopt practices that emphasize access and outreach. We always cold read our plays: rather than asking members to prepare material outside of meetings, we discover and enact the reading right there, together, assigning parts as we go. This community-building practice takes considerable pressure off members, allowing us to recruit faculty, students, local performers, and members of the Toronto community, and to retain their frequent participation. Thoughtful, productive discussions of the text naturally emerge from this shared reading experience.



Faculty, University of Toronto

  • Alexandra Johnston, A&S English (emerita)
  • David Klausner, A&S English (emeritus)

Graduate Students, University of Toronto

  • Alexandra Atiya, Medieval Studies
  • Jenna McKellips, English
  • Morgan Moore, Medieval Studies
  • Colin Rowley, English

Graduate Students outside University of Toronto

  • Angie Lo, Imperial College, London
  • Tricia Postle, Musicology, University of Cambridge

Undergraduate Students, University of Toronto

  • Dylan Coley
  • Noor Gouda
  • Aria Kowal
  • Savannah Lollo
  • Julia Xu

Staff Members, University of Toronto

  • Katherine Belyea, Poculi Ludique Societas and Centre for Performance Studies in Early Theatre
  • Linda Phillips, Artistic Director, Poculi Ludique Societas / Wardrobe Supervisor, Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies

Community Members

  • Judith Skelton Grant, Canadian author and Sr. Fellow, Massey College
  • James Hyett, actor
  • Michella Mairi Kinloch, actor
  • Sharon Klassen, educational developer
  • Denis Kulesha, psychiatrist
  • David N. Orenstein, UC Alumni Association
  • Aras Pabadinskas, actor
  • Jane Smythe, actor
  • Marlow Stainfield, actor