The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS) will be sponsoring 4
sessions at the International Medieval Congress in 2006 and co-sponsoring a
fifth session with MEDICA. We're hoping that you'll find something to
interest you in our varied assortment. Abstracts are now being accepted for
the following topics:

1) Performance in German-Speaking Lands

Recent scholarship on early German theater has focused on plays'
performative aspects exploring gesture, ritual, staging, and audience
engagement within local contexts. European colleagues draw on
Anglo-American theories of performance, but modify them in accordance with
the distinct performance traditions of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
New approaches to the study of early theater in German-Speaking lands
warrant closer attention by American colleagues.

2) What Theater Studies Brings to Medieval Studies

Discussions of medieval theater history often focus primarily on text. This
panel considers ways in which interdisciplinary work in performance history
and the study of theater--its practice, language, communal nature--enlivens
and enriches the study of medieval history.

  3) Liturgical Drama Performance: A Session in Memory of Fletcher Collins, Jr.

Fletcher Collins, Jr. (d. 6 May 2005), was crucial to spurring interest in
production of the larger repertoire of medieval music-dramas. His
_Production of Medieval Church Music-Drama_ challenged scholars to present
the liturgical repertoire as visual shows consistent with iconographic
evidence, while his edition of sixteen plays with music was a collection of
performable transcriptions intended to encourage others to solve problems
of transcription. This session focuses on production of liturgical drama,
its music, and the embedding of individual plays in the liturgy. These
matters have seen considerable development since they were last discussed
at Kalamazoo and now merit discussion in an interdisciplinary memorial session.

4) Performance in the Early Modern Household

Among the most significant discoveries of the past decade is the wealth of
documentary evidence of dramatic performances in the great households of
late medieval and early modern England.  This session will focus on the
plays, personnel, and performing spaces of these private entertainments.

We are also co-sponsoring a session with MEDICA this year:

(5) Jointly sponsored session organized by MEDICA: Performing Medicine on
the Early Page and Stage

This session will add a new dimension to ongoing discussions of two current
areas of scholarly interest: the early body as metaphor and the physicality
of the stage. Papers will employ interdisciplinary approaches to explore
the performative aspects of early medicine and the medical aspects of early
drama: emphasis will be on doctors, doctoring, health and disease as they
are depicted in early texts and performances. MEDICA representative Gerard
NeCastro <[log in to unmask]> will accept abstracts for this session.

MRDS welcomes papers on any aspects of performance suited to these general

Please submit abstracts for topics 1-4 above by September 15th (sooner is
better) to Gloria Betcher at the address below. E-mail submissions are
preferred because we need to send any abstracts not accepted by MRDS to the
conference organizers for general sessions. If you send an abstract, please
remember to provide the following:
    * your name and affiliation,
    * a title for your paper,
    * your contact information (including office and home phone numbers,
fax number, and e-mail address),
    * an abstract cover sheet available at and
    * your A/V or computer needs as required on the abstract cover sheet.
You can fill in the interactive abstract cover sheet online, save a copy,
and send it as an E-mail attachment. NOTE THAT WE MUST HAVE AN ABSTRACT

We look forward to your submissions!

Gloria Betcher