Mystery Dramas 2014

Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas An evening talk and Saturday workshop with Barbara Renold

Friday, Jan 24th, 2014: 7:30pm-9:00pm lecture, and Saturday, Jan 25th, 2014: 9:00am-3:00pm workshop at Bothmer Hall, 5915 SE Division St., Portland, OR

“The Wildest Dramas Ever Written” Mystery Dramas-1In the  introductory talk about Rudolf Steiner’s four Mystery Dramas, Barbara Renold will describe some of the extraordinary scenes contained in this tetralogy, which spans 17 years in the lives of the characters. Given to humanity around 100 years ago, these plays show the intense and complicated soul and spiritual tapestry behind our every day lives—the weaving of karma from former incarnations in our present day relationships, how that karma is worked on during the life between death and re-birth in different planetary spheres, the influence of a host of different spiritual beings in our actions, examples of first perceptions on the path of inner development, to name just a few. No plays known to humanity encompass such a far-reaching perspective. Mystery Dramas-2In the Saturday workshop we shall get a taste of these plays by reading and discussing a few scenes and excerpts from the various dramas, particularly following Maria’s and Johannes’ threads of destiny. Perhaps we can come to see how they portray our own life experiences in a form and language that allows us to glimpse the higher self within ourselves and encourages understanding of the deeper aspects of the panorama of what we call our ‘life on earth’ or ‘this incarnation’.

Biographical Sketch of Barbara Renold Mystery Dramas-3Barbara Renold is a practicing speech artist and director of community theatre. Her exposure to Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas began at age 18, when she saw all four plays three times on the Goetheanum stage for the first time. Though hardly comprehensible to her at that time, a seed was planted for her future work with them. She trained at the Speech and Drama School at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland from 1977-1981 and supplemented her studies at the Harkness Studio in Sydney, Australia in 1982-83. During her time as a speech and drama teacher at Sunbridge College (1983-2007), she began to produce the Mystery Dramas with amateur groups in Spring Valley, culminating in bringing the 4th drama to a conference in Dornach in 1998, where all 4 dramas were shown in English. In 2006, she began a new cycle of work on the plays. In 2009, “The Portal of Initiation”, in 2011 “The Soul’s Probation”, in 2012, “The Guardian of the Threshold” and in 2013, “The Souls’ Awakening” were produced within summer conferences within the Threefold Community in Spring Valley, N.Y.

Mystery Dramas-4

August 8-17, 2014, in Spring Valley, NY, the Threefold Mystery Drama Group will perform Rudolf Steiner’s four mystery dramas within a nine day festival-conference co-sponsored by the Threefold Educational Center and the Anthroposophical Society in America. The mystery dramas will provide context for looking at the future of the anthroposophical movement. We hope to see you at event where all four dramas are produced by a combined group of professional and amateurs for the first time in English!

In the new mysteries the whole earth becomes an altar. The hidden tragedies and triumphs of the pupils become external fact. Our friends and colleagues become for us, though we and they may know but little of it, the terrible and wonderful actors in the ceremony of our initiation. – Adam Bittleston


Scholarships are available; no one will be turned away because of lack of funds. Contact Cheri Munske at 503-484-4133 for more information or questions. You can register online (below), or print, complete, and return this registration form along with your payment to Cheri Munske at [email protected]

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