Elizabethan Theatre: Beginnings
- Early 16th c. travelling actors.Considered vagabonds and thieves
Later, a licenses were given to nobles for maintaining actors
Thus, acting troupes came into being.
- Acting Troupes :Played in the courtyards of taverns (called Inn-yards).
- Temporary stage erected Permanent Theatres.
- The 1st permanent theatre was James Burbage’s ‘The Theatre’
- 1564: On April 23 William Shakespeare was born.
- 1576: James Burbage obtains lease and permission to build an amphitheatre, The Theatre, in Shoreditch, London. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men played here from 1594 to 1596.
- 1577: Another open air amphitheatre called The Curtain opens in Finsbury Fields, Shoreditch, London.
- 1587: Open air amphitheatre The Rose, Bankside, Surrey is opened
- 1593: Theatres close due to the Bubonic Plague (The Black Death)
- 1594: The Lord Chamberlain’s Company (formally known as ‘Lord Strange’sMen’) was formed.
- 1595: March 15, First document mentioning Shakespeare connected with the Theatre.
- 1596: From 1596 to 1597 London’s authorities banned the public presentation of plays within the city limits of London
- 1596: James Burbage purchases Blackfriars and converts it to a theatre. Unable to get permission to open as a theatre and it stands empty.
- 1597: Dispute over the lease of ‘the Theatre’. The Puritan owner, Giles Allen disapproved of the Theatre and the acting troupe.
- 1597: Shakespeare’s troupe moved to the Curtain Theatre.
- 1598: Timber from the ‘Theatre’ taken to use for the building of a new theatre to be called the Globe.
- 1599: The Globe Theatre is opened on Bankside .
- 1600: Richard Burbage is forced to lease out Blackfriars.
- 1603: The Bubonic Plague (The Black Death) again ravages London killing 33,000 people – all theatres close.
- 1613: On June 29, Fire at the Globe Theatre.
- 1614: Globe Theatre was rebuilt on original foundations, this time the roof is tiled, not thatched.
- 1616: April 25, Burial of William Shakespeare in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.
- 1642: The English Civil War breaks out between the Parliamentarians (Puritans) and the Royalists
1642: On September 2, Parliament issues an ordinance suppressing all stage plays.
- 1644: On 15 April, Puritan landowner Sir Matthew Brend demolishes the Globe & builds houses on the site.
- 1647: Even stricter rules passed by the Puritans restricting the staging of plays.
- 1648: The Puritans ordered all playhouses to be pulled down, all players to be seized and whipped, and anyone caught attending a play to be fined five shillings.
- 1649: The Civil War finally leads to the terrible execution of King Charles I by the Parliamentarians (Puritans).
- 1653: Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England.
- 1658: Cromwell dies and the power of the Puritan starts to decline.
- 1660: The Restoration, and the end of the Puritan rule, sees the opening of the theatres again.
- Round, wooden, roofless building.Three galleries of seats Pit (no seats) cost a penny “groundlings”.
Main stage: 40 feet wide with a 27 feet projection into the pit Recessed inner stage (curtains and balcony)
- Provisions for Heaven and Hell