Chester screen shot

Chester 2010 conducts historical and historiographical research on two performances of the Chester Cycle, one a politically controversial 1572 performance in Chester, and the other a 2010 festival in Toronto in which 21 institutions produced the 1572 text over three days. I am interested the affective impact of the cycle both on the sixteenth-century Chester community and on us, and what that might tell us about our sense of the theatrical past. In particular, I am curious about how the cycle represents children, what it suggests about the ways the Chester community understood sacred time and space, and more broadly, how scholars might articluate theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to historically-informed performance. 

Presentations and Publications


Co-producer (with the Centre for Performance Studies in Early Theatre). Chester 2010: Creation to Judgment. Victoria University in the University of Toronto. May 2010. 

Director. Play 10: The Three Kings, Herod, The Slaughter of the Innocents. Day two. 23 May 2010. 

Conference Presentations

Single author. “Original performance practices and innovation” and “Memory, autobiography, and testimony” working groups. History, Memory, Performance. University of Ottawa, 19-21 April 2012.

Single author. “Child Characters, Child Actors, and the Ontology of Performance in the Long English Medieval Theatre.” Imitation, Emulation, and Forgery: Pretending and Becoming in the Medieval World. Thirty-Third Medieval Colloquium of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto. 2-3 March, 2012.

Single author. “Transubstantial Affect: Baby Puppets as Prosthetics in the Chester Cycle, 1572.” Seminar paper: Prosthetics and Performance. Shakespeare Association of America. Seattle, Washington, April, 2011.

Panelist. "Chester 2010: Performance and Iconography." Roundtable: Drama and Religion 1555-75: the Chester Cycle in Context. Toronto, May 2010.

Web Site

Editor and co-author. Chester 2010: Peril and Danger to Her Majesty. University of Waterloo. 2010.


Festival Audience

Approximately 700 on Day Two. 


Epp, Garret. “Chester 2010: Creation and Judgment.” Early Theatre 13.2 (2010): 89-97. Print.

© Jennifer Roberts-Smith 2012