HAVE MIRACLES CEASED?
Chaucer'a Wife of Bath put on her finest raiment to go to "pleys of myracles and to mariages", and the England of the days before Shakespeare was always ready for a spectacle performed by a travelling band of "mummers" before the Christmas festivities, or produced by a group of laymen in the shadow of the church. This was so universally true that an eighteenth century commentator on the customs of the fourteenth and fifteenth noted, "that those theatrical pieces called Miracles were their delight beyond all others". The Miracles were to them what the musical comedy and the "problem play" are today,--at once the food and wine of the theatre-going public.
It will be interesting to see how a twentieth century audience will take to the Miracles, as represented by the two presented tonight by the Dramatic Club in the Germanic Museum with a Cathedral arch and and later for a background and a "dim, religious light" supplied by electricity carefully concealed off-stage. The limited number who will be fortunate enough to see the "Lutterworh Christmas Play" and the "Pageant of the Shearmen and Taylors" will find themselves as nearly in the atmosphere of the original miracles as it is possible for ingenuity and modern appliances to reproduce. It is an experiment well worth trying; what the Glee Club has done for music, the Dramatic Club may yet do for the stage.