Relevance of plays by J. A. Comenius for theatres at modern Sunday schools

Svetlana Mikhailovna Mashevskaya PhD, lecturer, Ivanovo College for Pedagogy (4th Derevenskaya ulitsa, 24, b. 3, ap. 71, Ivanovo, Russia, 153043)

Mashevskaya S. M. Relevance of plays by J. A. Comenius for theatres at modern Sunday schools, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2018, vol. 7, pp. 108–124.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2018-00006

Language: Russian

The article considers interconnection of contemporary Sunday schools theatre with the school theatre of the 16th – first half of the 18th centuries and describes briefly scrutiny of school theatre in Russian science and growing interest towards school religious theatre. The author suggests that organizers of dramatic activities in Sunday schools should pay their attention to dramatic works of J. A. Comenius, great pedagogue of the 17th century, a philosopher and a bishop of the Unity of the Brethren (Bohemian Brethren). He wrote ten plays for school theatre: Diogenes the CynicForefather Abraham, and eight plays from the cycle Schola ludus. Factors allowing to consider the plays topical for performing in Sunday schools are revealed: religious content, dynamic action and short dialogues, specific metaphoric language. The 6th play of Schola ludus, devoted to moral aspect of human life and depicting the journey of a doubtful boy Amfietus who chooses his own path, is thoroughly analyzed. A scene from the play, where meeting with Greedy Man takes place, is given as illustration of the playwright’s language and style. Also, the author gives recommendations to those who will set this play on the stage of Sunday schools, leaning on Comenius’s permission to change and add to content of the play, including co-creation, and author’s own directional experience with children.

Creative Commons License

Key words: Christian School theatre, Schola ludus, Diogenes the Cynic, Forefather Abraham, directional recommendations


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