The early Medieval period provides few surviving records of Medieval plays due to the low literacy rate of the general population. The clergy was also opposed to some types of performance. Drama began to thrive in the late medieval period, and more records of performances and plays exist from this time.
Theater in the Early Middle Ages
In the early Middle Ages, churches began to stage dramatized versions of important biblical events. The churches were faced with explaining a new religion to a majorly illiterate population, so these dramas visualized what would later be able to be read in the Bible. These productions also celebrated annual religious events. These productions evolved into liturgical dramas. The earliest known liturgical drama is the Easter trope, Whom do you Seek, which dates circa 925. Liturgical drama did not involve actors impersonating characters, but it did involve singing by two groups.
An important playwright in early Medieval times was Hrotsvit, a historian and aristocratic canoness from northern Germany in the 10th century. Hrotsvit wrote six plays which she modeled after Terence’s comedies. Though Terence’s comedies show ordinary human subjects and situations involving