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platea

in medieval theatre, the neutral acting area of a stage. In medieval staging, a number of mansions, or booths, representing specific locations, were placed around the acting area. The actors would move from mansion to mansion as the play demanded. The platea would assume the scenic identity of the mansion that was being used. The platea was also used as the acting area for places not specified by individual mansions, such as streets and open country.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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