Or miracle play: a medieval religious drama based on stories from the Bible. Mystery plays were performed around the time of church festivals, reaching their height in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. A whole cycle, ranging from the Creation to the Last Judgment, would be performed on mobile wagons in separate scenes by various town guilds. Four English cycles survive: Coventry, Wakefield, Chester and York. The York cycle is still performed yearly.

Used by the Catholic Church at the end of Dark Ages, pageant wagons were the primary means of religious education for the masses.

Since the vast majority of the people were illiterate at best, the Church needed some way in which to teach the stories and lessons of The Bible to those masses. The solution was the beginning of a dramatic resurgence.

A line of wagons would be arranged into a circle, and a scene from a Biblical story would be performed on each wagon. Passersby would go from one wagon to the next, learning the religious lesson from watching a play, as oppossed to sitting in a church building and listening to a priest drone on, likely in Latin.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.