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a term used to designate a movable stage in the medieval theater used in presenting mysteries, miracle plays, and dramatic processions.
The pageant was a large wagon consisting of two levels. On the lower level the actors changed their costumes; on the upper level, which was provided with a curtain and primitive scenery, a scene or act from a play was presented. The pageant then moved on to a new site and the same scene was played again before a new group of spectators. Another wagon appeared, on whose stage the play was continued. The scenes followed one another in strict accordance with the play’s plot.
Pageants were popular in England and in other European countries. In the early 20th century the term was applied in Great Britain and the USA to theatrical performances using a movable stage.
REFERENCESGvozdev, A., and A. Piotrovskii. Istoriia evropeiskogo teatra. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931. Pages 415–62.
Parker, A. Pageants: Their Presentation and Production. London, 1954.