ABOUT THE PLAY
The Digby Mary Magdalene is a medieval play found in a manuscript from the early sixteenth century, but it was most likely first performed in the late fifteenth century. The play follows the journey of Mary Magdalene, whose story grew beyond her Biblical origins throughout the Middle Ages. Originally, the play was probably performed outside, in a field in East Anglia, using many different stages arranged in a circle. Medieval outdoor stages were meant to symbolically represent the world; it is therefore fitting that that the actors for this project are performing on a digital stage from two different continents and four different countries.
In the era of COVID-19, theatre is rooted in a digital space, so this play cannot be site-specific; therefore The Mary Magdalene Project is intended to be community-specific (i.e.: a play by, for, and with a certain community). Medieval theater was often written and performed by cis men (or at least, this is how it is often described—this was not always the case). The goal of this production is to give a voice to some of those who were underrepresented in medieval drama, using a translation of a medieval play interspersed with monologues taken from interviews with contemporary people.
This play is funded by a New Horizons Graduate Student Research Grant from the Medieval Academy of America, as well as generous contributions from Poculi Ludique Societas and the University of Toronto English Department, Centre for Medieval Studies, and Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies.