The Anthropology of the Theatre and the Reconstruction of Mediaeval Liturgical Drama Peregrinatio Aetherii
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The author describes the manner in which the activity of the Schola of the Wegajty Theatre, focused on the reconstruction and presentation of mediaeval liturgical drama, refers to the anthropology of the theatre. The text is an introduction to a series of studies published in this issue, dealing with the quest conducted by the artists of the Schola in cooperation with humanists, as well as the purely artistic, historical-scientific, theological, anthropological and cultural-studies research carried out for the more than the past ten years. Upon the basis of the example of an expedition to Castelsardo in Sardinia, a description of Holy Week processions, the so-called 'sacre rappresentazioni' - depictions of the saints, and a meeting with the Fraternity of the Holy Cross, the author demonstrated the essential rank of the anthropological approach, against the backdrop of historical studies, together with the creative tasks of the company, i. e. a reconstruction of 'Ludus Passionis', the oldest Passion play in Latin Europe. This monumental liturgical drama is contained within a thirteenth-century manuscript known as 'Carmina Burana', from the Benedictine monastery in Kaufbeuern and kept in the National Library in Munich. What could be the outcome of the described experiences, apart from the purely cognitive results, obvious for the activity of the company? Meetings with such persons as members of the fraternity from Castelsardo and other representatives of then world of living tradition open up a door to the world of the Holy Game (Sacer Ludus) envisaged by Gerardus van der Leeuw, which in its pure and earnest form is what our contemporary life lacks. It is the author's sincere hope that the proposed selection of texts and material will describe the fashion in which a theatrical company may build, enhance and realise its tasks by basing itself on instruments moulded by the anthropology of the theatre.
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