Drama before Shakespeare

Ref: C2226762

This course offers an introduction to the vibrant drama of the medieval period and early-sixteenth century. Starting with the Mystery Cycles of the northern cities, it then focuses on the drama of East Anglia which was very different but just as fascinating and spectacular.

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 24/10/2019

Course aim

This course is an introduction to the vibrant drama of the medieval period and the early-sixteenth century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify different styles of drama from around Britain.
  • Define what made East Anglian drama unique.
  • Explore medieval plays as both works of literature and practical stage performances.
  • Evaluate why these plays were performed during the medieval period.
  • Identify how these plays were put on and their social effectiveness within East Anglian communities.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Suggested reading: The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theatre- eds. Richard Beadle and Alan Fletcher The Theatre of Devotion- Gail McMurray Gibson The Rise and Fall of Merry England- Ronald Hutton

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Drama before Shakespeare


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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