This allowed the 'pit' area to house playgoers, even on wet days. Thus the Elizabethan theatrical entrepreneurs created Theater that we know today. Perhaps to further 'legitimise' the novel idea of permanent, purpose built theaters, a strong resemblance to the Greek theater and the Roman Amphitheater design was encouraged. This wonderful connection with the classics was providential as the blood sport arenas used for bear and bull baiting were already a feature of Elizabethan entertainment.
Moving from this type of entertainment to the Elizabethan theatre was an easy step. Both types of entertainment could be housed in one amphitheatre connecting the old with the new. Not only did this make perfect financial sense it also linked the Elizabethan theater of the Renaissance period with the much admired classical theater and literature of the Greeks and Romans. The Elizabethan playwrights continued this theme by producing Tragedies and Comedies of a similar genre.
William Shakespeare himself drew on the history of the ancients in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. The massive popularity of the Roman Amphitheaters was about to be repeated hundreds of years later in Renaissance England the first permanent Roman theatre was built in 54 AD. The classical theme of the Elizabethan theaters continued and various sections were labelled with names taken from the Roman theatre. The ' Herculean ' pillars, strongly featured in the interiors designs of the Elizabethan theaters, were painted so that they appeared to be made of marble.
The Elizabethan stage wall was called the Frons Scenae and decorated with classical Greek and Roman images. So the innovative theatrical entrepreneurs of the Elizabethan era, using classical Greek and Roman history, were creating a clever and specific image for their theaters. But the Amphitheaters were not just about emulating the classical styles of the Greeks and Romans. They were about profit. The design of the London theaters, or Amphitheaters, were guaranteed to house as many playgoers as was possible in a cheap, but impressive looking, building built with timber, stone flint and plaster which took less than six months to build.
The profit margin of the fixed venue theaters increased five-fold as the acting troupes no longer had to spend their time travelling erecting and dismantling stages and all of the associated expenses which would have been incurred. The indoor theatres called playhouses were born! The playhouses of course helped the acting troupes considerably as playhouses allowed for an all year round profession, not one restricted to the summer at the mercy of the English weather.
Many plays were produced in buildings which were suitable for the purpose. The Gray's Inn and Whitehall were two such theatres and easily converted into playhouses. Purpose built playhouses were also built such as Salisbury Court playhouse. For the Elizabethans this was a totally new innovation in entertainment. It would have had the same effect as the movies did at the turn of the 20th century.
It was exciting!
Manual Shakespeare and the Power of Performance: Stage and Page in the Elizabethan Theatre
It was popular! It was the place to go! It was a booming industry! There was money to be made! The world of Theater, playwrights and actors exploded on London. It became fashionable for Noblemen to keep their own troupes of players. As with any new industry there were, initially, no regulations. Various companies of players were formed.
Copyright William Shakespeare info did not exist and, as rivalry was fierce amongst Theatrical entrepreneurs, many plays were copied during performances hence the Quarto texts and produced soon after by a rival company. Click on the links for details of each venue. Plays could be used to encourage criticism of the state and freedom of thought in terms of both religion and politics.
Queen Elizabeth, ever concerned about her popularity with the people, realised that although it would be prudent to enforce some regulations that it would be foolhardy to apply too many restrictions. She had controlled the troupes of strolling players in by granting a license by royal patent to organised acting companies, thus initiating legitimate troupes such as Earl of Leicester's Men. And under Queen Elizabeth political and religious subjects were forbidden on the stage. Plays still however often led to heated debates in Theaters and arguments erupted.
The subject matter of the plays would often be vulgar and bawdy. Volume 2. This book has soft covers. In good all round condition.
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY
Please note the Image in this listing is a stock photo and may not match the covers of the actual item,grams, ISBN Book Description Routledge, Kegan Paul, Paperback, VG. Elizabethan Popular Theatre: Plays in Performance. Michael Hattaway. Publisher: Routledge , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.
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Review : 'Michael Hattaway has one of the prerequisites of a teacher in Shakespeare he is able to talk to his readers with clarity as well as erudition. The venture was soon replaced by a more successful collaboration between Brayne and another brother-in-law, the actor-manager James Burbage at Shoreditch, known as The Theatre. The Red Lion was a receiving house for touring companies, whereas The Theatre accepted long term engagements, essentially in repertory, with companies being based there. The former was a continuation of the tradition of touring groups, performing at inns and grand houses, the later a radically new form of theatrical engagement.
It was the fourth of the public theatres to be built, after The Theatre , the Curtain , and the theatre at Newington Butts c. The theatre was built on a messuage called the "Little Rose," which Henslowe had leased from the parish of St. Mildred in It contained substantial rose gardens and two buildings; Cholmley used one as a storehouse, while Henslowe appears to have leased the other as a brothel.
The building was of timber, with a lath and plaster exterior and thatch roof. It was polygonal in shape, about 21 meters in diameter. City records indicate that it was in use by late ; however, it is not mentioned in Henslowe's accounts between its construction and , and it is possible that he leased it to an acting company with which he was not otherwise concerned. Henslowe enlarged the theatre for the new troupe, moving the stage further back six feet six inches, or two meters to make room for perhaps extra spectators.
The original Rose was smaller than other theatres, only about two-thirds the size of the original Theatre built eleven years earlier, and its stage was also unusually small; the enlargement addressed both matters.
- Shakespeare's Theater.
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Henslowe paid all the costs himself, indicating that Cholmley was no longer involved — either deceased or bought out. The work was done by the builder John Grigg. The renovation gave the theatre, formerly a regular polygon with perhaps 14 sides , a distorted egg shape, a "bulging tulip" or "distorted ovoid" floor plan. The —4 period was difficult for the acting companies of London; a severe outbreak of bubonic plague meant that the London theatres were closed almost continuously from June to May The companies were forced to tour to survive, and some, like Pembroke's Men, fell on hard times.
By the summer of the plague had abated, and the companies re-organized themselves, principally into the Lord Chamberlain's Men and the Admiral's Men. The latter troupe, still led by Alleyn, resumed residence at the Rose. The Rose appears to have differed from other theatres of the era in its ability to stage large scenes on two levels. It is thought that all Elizabethan theatres had a limited capability to stage scenes "aloft," on an upper level at the back of the stage — as with Juliet on her balcony in Romeo and Juliet, II.
A minority of Elizabethan plays, however, call for larger assemblies of actors on the higher second level — as with the Roman Senators looking down upon Titus in the opening scene of Titus Andronicus. An unusual concentration of plays with the latter sort of staging requirement can be associated with the Rose, indicating that the Rose had an enhanced capacity for this particularity of stagecraft.
The Rose was home to the Admiral's Men for several years. Prompted by complaints from city officials, the Privy Council decreed in June that only two theatres would be allowed for stage plays: the Globe in Bankside, and the Fortune Theatre in Middlesex — specifically, Shoreditch. Henslowe and Alleyn had already built the Fortune, apparently to fill the vacuum created when the Chamberlain's Men left Shoreditch. The Rose was used briefly by Worcester's Men in and ; when the lease ran out on The Rose in it was abandoned. The playhouse may have been pulled down as early as In , the remains of the Rose were threatened with destruction by building development.
A campaign to save the site was launched by several well-known theatrical figures, including Peggy Ashcroft and Laurence Olivier. It was eventually decided to build over the top of the theatre's remains, leaving them conserved beneath. The handling of the Rose Theatre by government, archaeologists and the developer provided impetus for the legitimisation of archaeology in the development process and led the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher to introduce PPG 16 in an attempt to manage archaeology in the face of development threat.
The foundations of the Rose are covered in a few inches of water to keep the ground from developing major cracks, but it is used for performances with actors performing around the perimeter of the site. When the Museum of London carried out the excavation work, the staff found many objects which are now stored in the museum itself. Portions of the theatre's foundations were deeply littered with hazelnut shells — apparently, hazel nuts were the popcorn of English Renaissance drama. In , the site was re-opened to the public, underneath the controversial new development. Work continues to excavate this historic site further and to secure its future.
The Globe Theatre The original Globe was an Elizabethan theatre which opened in Autumn in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames, in an area now known as Bankside. It was one of several major theatres that were located in the area, the others being the Swan, the Rose and The Hope.
The Globe was owned by many actors, who except for one were also shareholders in the Lord Chamberlain's Men.