To be held on Saturday 31 May 2014 at University of Hull, England
In January 1914 in London, England, the Pioneer Players theatre society produced a remarkable and disturbing play about prostitution. This play was written by Hrostvit, the tenth-century nun from Gandersheim. Known also as ‘strong voice’, Hrotsvit has been claimed as the first female dramatist. Edith Craig’s production of the play for the Pioneer Players theatre society and Christopher St John’s translation was part of a programme of encouraging women’s writing for the stage in the period of the campaign for women’s suffrage. The play featured the punishment of the prostitute, Thais, by imprisonment, providing a topical allusion in 1914 to the brutal treatment of suffragettes in London.
This interdisciplinary international symposium will mark the centenary of this remarkable 1914 production and provide an opportunity for a reassessment of Hrotsvit’s drama, bringing together researchers interested in the modern production of the play as well as the Medieval text and context.
Anna Birch will direct a workshop reading of Paphnutius and a discussion, which will be recorded as part of the ongoing project on Pageants and Pioneers. This began in May 2011 with the Fragments & Monuments production and film of Cicely Hamilton’s A Pageant of Great Women.
Anna Birch, Katharine Cockin, Ellen Ricketts, Helene Scheck, Phil Crispin
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