Fee’s medieval drama class encourages Christmas spirit

A promotional poster for The Nativity and Play of the Shepherds.
(Photo Courtesy of MerryMedieval on Instagram)

By Amanda Srere, Contributing Writer

Every Gettysburgian down in Gettysburg liked Christmas a lot…But the Grinch, who lived just north of Gettysburg, did not! Kick off this Christmas season with Professor Christopher Fee and company’s production of the Chester Cycle Nativity and the Play of the Shepherds.

To sum up a semester learning about medieval drama, the English 312 class is putting on a modern adaption of the Nativity story with a Dr. Seuss-esque theme to it, and you are invited!

This version of the Nativity that is being produced comes from an English cycle drama referred to as the Chester cycle. By definition, a cycle drama is composed of a number of small pageants related to biblical history, most of which date back to the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. One of the only surviving cycles, the Chester cycle is made up of twenty-four pageants, two of which are the Nativity and the Play of the Shepherds.

The upcoming production is comprised of a modernized version of the original Chester cycle text filled with cleverly crafted rhymes that suggest that Dr. Seuss himself penned it, and references ranging from a Cat in the Hat expositor to a flock of Sneetches that witnesses the miracle of Christ. Translated, directed, and acted by a cast and crew of all students, the play

features colorful scenery and songs that will take you back to Whoville. It stars the unforgettable Rachel Dinsmore and Andrew McCarty as Mary and Joseph, Kara VanBlargan as the villainous Octavia, Meredith Tombs, Hannah Leone, and Nancy Clark as the three shepherds, and last but not least, Andrew Gorelick as the troublesome Trowle.

Held in the Christ Chapel on Friday, December 12th from 4-5 PM, this Seussical Nativity is sure to be a hit for adults and children alike, or for college students fresh out of classes and not yet ready to begin studying for finals. Come one, come all, to this merry medieval delight that will make even the grumpiest audience member’s heart grow three sizes!

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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