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Arts Toolkit: Drama Video Clips

Allegory: Mummer’s Play



The tradition of mumming involved troupes of actors and minstrels who performed allegorical plays for neighbors and the community during the holiday or winter season in exchange for food, drink, and tips. The script was usually transmitted by oral tradition. Mumming came to Appalachia from England as “breaking up Christmas,” the tradition of musicians, storytellers, and revelers holding a dance party at a home in the community, usually between Christmas Day and January 6. This performance was created by Joy D’Elia and Tommy Bledsoe and features a cast of musicians and actors.

Suggested Uses:

  • Show along with the reading from Everyman to demonstrate allegory.
  • Have students write and perform their own allegories using contemporary characters.
  • Have students research mumming and look for examples that survive today.

For more information:

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About Winter: Season of Darkness and Light:


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