The 2005 Class produced a "Goodfellas" version of the York Crucifixion Play (Image Credit: Fee 2005)Medieval play to be staged 'Godfather'-style at Gettysburg College
by Jim Hale

A medieval play in the style of a modern Mafia movie will be performed outdoors April 15 at Gettysburg College. The centuries-old York "Crucifixion of Christ" will be presented at 4 p.m. outside Breidenbaugh Hall off North Washington Street. The public is welcome at no charge.

Since 1999, students in English professor Christopher Fee's Medieval Drama course have translated period plays into modern styles, including "hillbilly," "jazz-age," and "1970s after-school special."

The students "are responsible for every aspect of the production, from translating the play into modern idiom to staging, directing, acting and constructing sets and costumes," Fee said. In conjunction with regular classwork, "actually staging a medieval play helps these students to begin to appreciate the complexities and beauties" of the material, he said.

In this year's play, buffoonish soldiers are hired to execute an innocent man for pay. In "a dark comedic idiom familiar to any contemporary audience with knowledge of 'The Godfather,' 'Goodfellas' or 'The Sopranos,' their words, their dialects and their actions are meant to contrast with those of Christ," Fee said.

The students also presented the play April 2 at the Hood College Undergraduate Medieval Studies Conference in Frederick, Md.

Issued 4/5/05