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Beginning with Hrosvitha of Gandersheim in the 10th century, Medieval drama was for the most part very religious and moral in its themes, staging and traditions.The most famous examples of Medieval plays are the English cycle dramas, the York Mystery Plays, the Chester Mystery Plays, the Wakefield Mystery Plays and the N-Town Plays, as well as the morality play, Everyman.Adam also wrote another secular play, Jeu de la Fueillee in Arras, a French town in which theatre was thriving in the late 12th and 13th centuries.One play surviving from Arras, is Jeu de saint Nicolas by Jean Bodel (c.1200).

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For many centuries thereafter, clerics were cautioned to not allow these suddenly homeless, travelling actors to perform in their jurisdictions.The theatre itself was viewed as a diabolical threat to Christianity because of its continued popularity in Rome even among new converts.Church fathers such as Tatian, Tertullian and Augustine characterized the stage as an instrument in the Devil's fiendish plot to corrupt men's souls, while acting was considered sinful because of its cruel mockery of God's creation.As the Western Roman Empire fell into severe decay through the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire, later called the Byzantine Empire.

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