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monasteries, Medieval England, Tudor England, financial support


The elaborate cycle plays produced in the larger, wealthy municipalities of York, Chester, Wakefield and Coventry receive the lion’s share of attention among scholars of medieval theatre. Until recently, performance activities in smaller communities have received little or no attention, except perhaps as something of antiquarian interest. And one area of theatre history that has been largely overlooked is the involvement of monasteries in local performance activities. Yet the precious few, fragmentary, monastic records that survived the dissolutions of the monasteries under Henry VIII and Edward VI, suggest that several monasteries gave active financial support to local theatre in England before and during the early Tudor period.