Medieval plays like "Noah's Ark" served as pedagogical tools that provided teaching of the Scripture rather than a tool of entertainment. Despite this fact however, its staging and production design also involved special effects…
There were varied usage of the methods of production alongside the complexity of the plays from place to place, but the creation of theatrical, imaginary space was a notable characteristic of "Noah's Ark."2
In "Noah's Ark," processional staging was used and was considered an important aspect of the play. Processional staging was considered an extremely taxing task as compared with other theatrical forms, but was a distinctive physical feature of "Noah's Ark," being a medieval play. The play involved planning a clearly defined circuit, which can be pushed through a synchronized schedule and traversed in a reasonable amount of time. The actors and actresses were also faced with several difficulties, such as the rigors of continuously staging a single episode repeatedly throughout the day.
Revivifying "Noah's Ark" entailed experiments different from the traditional mobile pageantry stations or theatre-in-the round which used to characterise past presentations. A mobile is an important part of the special effects of "Noah's Ark," which involved the creation of a convincing scene.3 An isolated staging place was needed when the play was finally staged. The pageant wagons, which were also known as carriages, were considered a high place, constructed into a house with two rooms, being open in its upper floor. The lower room served as the dressing room while the higher room served as the stage on which the actors performed. ...
The audiences would be waiting in advance at the time the wagons arrived, wherein the most well-off people were seated in specially constructed scaffolds.5 When the first pageants proceeded to the first station, which was at 4:30 in the morning, it was a signal that the performance would then start. It is noteworthy to mention in this paper that the medieval cycle, in which "Noah's Ark" was part, involved 48 plays, indicating that the last play would end at the last station until after midnight. There must be 19 hours of uninterrupted attention that the entire cycle required of its audience.6
The pageant master took care of matters pertaining to costumes, which were predominantly with little attempts at historical accuracy and did not bear any distinctions of race or rank. The outfits of soldiers, peasants, and tradesmen may be described as visually anachronistic, which provided a frame of reference against which the audience may determine the rest of the action.7 It was necessary that "Noah's Ark" use mask as part of the costume, as all other medieval plays of this time. The costume of the angels includes a half-gold mask, a large, tall golden hat crown and a blue robe with dash of gold. Specificity to the social status was essential feature of some characters, such as slouchy robes and hats for the male characters, while the female ones wore robes and short hats. Year after year, the play loaned some garments from members of the public, such as showy cloaks, dresses belonging to the ampler women of the community, or rich mantles characteristic of theatrical impression. Cast-off clothing of richer people was used as costumes, cunningly worked together to form slashed garments of masters and mistresses.8
"Noah's Ark" did ...
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