The Norwich Blood Libel Mounted Once Again: A Pedagogy for Tolerance in Arnold Wesker’s Blood Libel (1991)
Arnold Wesker’s Blood Libel (1991) dramatizes the ways in which Thomas of Monmouth builds up ill-informed, racist propaganda against Jews in his Life and Miracles of William of Norwich. By staging Wesker’s play, students confront the challenges of depicting prejudice for the ultimate purpose of enlightening audiences about the continued threat of anti-Semitism. This hands-on guide offers advice for producing Wesker’s play, as well as addressing such topics as advertising, casting, and publicizing this challenging work. Staging provocative plays requires foresight so that actors do not reinstate the prejudices on display in works such as Blood Libel; they must move beyond the text’s surface points to explore its deeper, more resonant meanings, so that their audiences may appreciate these nuances as well.