Author Archives: Kimberley Radmacher

PLS Talkback Survey


If you saw this summer’s PLS productions of MANKIND and/or THE PRIDE OF LIFE, we’d love to hear your feedback (however short or long)! Please visit and share:

PLS Talkback Survey

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O Come all ye faithful… and get your medieval on this Christmas 2015

A Medieval Christmas 2015: This is a Marvellous Hearing!


poculi ludique societas & st. thomas’s anglican church present

A Medieval Christmas:

This Is A Marvellous Hearing!


Performance dates: December 11, 7:30 pm; December 12, 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm.

St Thomas’s Anglican Church, 383 Huron Street, one block south of Bloor

Tickets : $20 / $15 senior / $10 student

Buy tickets online at: U of T Tix (cash only at the door)


Toronto’s renowned medieval and renaissance theatre company, Poculi Ludique Societas, is once again partnering with St Thomas’s Anglican Church to celebrate A Medieval Christmas. Continuing our exploration of the life of the Virgin Mary which we began earlier this fall with The Mary Play, this year’s performance will include episodes from the N-Town manuscript about events leading up to the Nativity. These plays  celebrate the birth of Christ, but also reflect the skeptical yet real-life attitudes that any regular person might feel when confronted with such outlandish notions such as a virgin birth!  The N-Town manuscript poignantly draws its audience into its characters’ incredulity and then deftly belies our collective lack of faith through the modesty and ultimate revelation of the Virgin’s purity. The power of the N-Town manuscript lies in its insistence on the corporeality of Mary’s body and the totally realistic reaction her peers would have had toward her claims of chastity. The basest of our human tendencies are depicted in these plays, yet even at our lowest moments of faith, God eventually intervenes and offers His grace. 

This year we are offering a Medieval Triple Threat. A Medieval Christmas will feature Toronto’s medieval troubadours, Pneuma Ensemble, and if you buy tickets through UofT tix, you can bundle your tickets with a purchase of Sine Nomine’s In presepio: medieval songs for the Christ-child to receive 20% off the regular price of tickets. That’s as little as $32 to see three of Toronto’s best-loved medieval performance groups in celebration of this festive season.

As usual, our cast features a bounty of up-and-coming talent joined by St. Thomas’s avid and talented parishoners. This year we feature soprano, Megan Adam as Gabrielle; comic actor, Alan Belerique as Joseph; and Bristol Old Vic alumna Helen Cashin as the Virgin Mary. They will be joined by our music coach and soprano, Jennifer McCallum; Alice Degan; Jack Hunter; Rob Mitchell; Ermina Perez;  Madeleine Redican; and Second City improv grad, Abram Taylor. The ensemble is directed by PLS resident director, Kimberley Radmacher,  and designed by Artistic Director Linda Phillips.

Quickly becoming a holiday tradition, PLS productions with St. Thomas’s Anglican Church are appreciated for excellent production values, including beautiful costume designs set in St. Thomas’s lovely Arts and Crafts sanctuary.



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 50 anniversay logo_FINAL





JUNE 5 – 7 2015


Poculi Ludique Societas (PLS), Toronto’s renowned medieval and renaissance players, continues its year-long celebration of 50 years of performance research practice at the University of Toronto with our FESTIVAL OF EARLY DRAMA (#FoED2015).

FoED2015 includes productions by 15 medieval and renaissance theatre groups from across North America. Helping us to celebrate will be university theatre groups that hail from New Orleans to Indiana, as well as the University of Western Ontario, Brock, and McMaster Universities, among others. PLS will also present our own production of Mankind, which is travelling to The Cloisters in New York City May 23 – 24, 2015 before returning to Toronto to headline our roster of productions.

To make our festival a real success, we need the support of our fantastic volunteers. We need people to be costumed guides who can direct our audiences to the various venues on campus; help set up venues; help with our tickets and information desk; and other general help.

WHEN: We need people who can help us out for 4-hour shifts (as many as you can take) over three days of the festival.

May 25:     Volunteer Orientation 6pm – 7:30 pm

May 30      Volunteer Orientation 1 pm – 2:30 pm

June 4:

Setting up venues 5pm – 8 pm

June 5:

Venue set-up 8:30 am – 5 pm

June 6:

Venue set up 8:30 am – 11 am

Guides and Ushers 10 am – 8:30 pm

June 7:

Guides and Ushers 10 am – 5 pm

Venue break-down and clean-up 5pm – 7 pm

WHO WE NEED:     A variety of enthusiastic volunteers who are either

*punctual and can help move props and help our companies set up for each show.

*or punctual and enjoy working with the public and helping them get the most out of our festival.

*and can sit or stand for up to 2 hours at info or ticket booths.

Please join us as we celebrate our 50th. There will be lots of free shows to attend and a great team to work with.

Contact us at if you are interested in helping us out!



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The Festival of Early Drama is June 5 – 7 2015

PLS’s next event in celebration of our 50th Anniversary is coming soon.

There’s more information on our website

Or check the FoED2015 website right here.

We hope to see you there!

50 anniversay logo_FINAL

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A few stills from our last rehearsal

We’re fully into the swing of things now. Here’s a few shots I managed to grab at our last rehearsal.


Julia Meadows as Mary


What’s Fr. Rob Mitchell up to?! You’ll have to come see the show to find out 🙂

IMG_1251[1] IMG_1227[1]

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Christmas begins in July for _A Medieval Christmas_

There’s been some pretty cute memes circulating through my email inbox and my Facebook feeds this week about how Christmas advertising starts way too soon! Today is American Thanksgiving, and so to honour our American cousins, I’ll dedicate my first blog post to them.


For many people the commercial aspect accompanied by the advertising creep  of “Christmas”into as early as September is indeed a bit much. Personally, I find any celebration lacks meaning if we spend too much time planning for it and thinking about it. So in the strictest sense, Christmas starts for me sometime around the middle of December, where it belongs 😀

But for those of us involved in producing A Medieval Christmas–which is now in its fourth year and co-produced by Poculi Ludique Societas (PLS)and St Thomas’s Anglican Church–Christmas starts sometime at the end of June. That’s when PLS’s artistic director (and A Medieval Christmas production and costume designer), Linda Phillips, usually taps me on the shoulder and says we really need to decide about which plays we’re going to do with St. Thomas’s this year.

Mary (Alice Deegan) is delighted that the cherry tree blooms in the middle of winter just for her!

Mary (Alice Deegan) is delighted that the cherry tree blooms in the middle of winter just for her! (from _A Medieval Christmas_ 2012)

About a week after we start talking about which play we should produce, Fr. Rob Mitchell, one of the co-producers for A Medieval Christmas, typically contacts us to ask if we’ve been thinking about this year’s production. Oh yes indeed we have!

Actually, we’ve been thinking about it earlier than that. Our choice of proposed plays starts to get discussed amongst  PLS board members as early as February. Poculi Ludique Societas is a theatre company which specializes in production research in early theatre and performance, which we tend to define as theatre from about the early 12th century until the mid-17th century. We are formally known as The Centre For Performance Study in Early Theatre (CPSET), and we are associated with the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (Drama Centre) at the University of Toronto. We also have ties to Records of Early English Drama (REED). Our board of directors is made up of some enthusiastic community members (including me), and a number of University researchers and professors from University of Toronto, McMaster University, York University and University of Waterloo. So it’s no surprise that most of our activities centre on research and historiography. But none of us wishes to live in an ivory tower bubble, and that’s why our association with St. Thomas’s Anglican Church is so close to our hearts.

We co-produce A Medieval Christmas with St. Thomas’s for the joy of simply creating a performance. Of course, there’s lots of solid research that informs our performance practice, but this is the one show we get to do just for the fun of it. It’s not connected to a formal conference or symposium, and it isn’t the focus of anyone’s particular research. It’s our opportunity to work with a community group and to bring our board members’ research (past and present) to life in an informal manner outside of academia. Once in passing, our former chair of the board, Dr. Alexandra F. Johnston, said to me that PLS is like the interface between academia and the community. For me, A Medieval Christmas is that interface par excellence.

I’ve come to look forward to this production every year. It just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without it. And I’m lucky, coz for me, Christmas really does start some time in July 😉

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We’re in production week!

Finally! After weeks of rehearsal we had our first one in the actual cathedral. The hard work has paid off! The play is looking awesome.

We got to see the dromedaries in action as well, and they really are a sight to be seen.

There’s still lots of work to do before we are ready to be in front of an audience, but we are going to have something special on offer by Friday night :-)

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