Back in Shakespeare's day theatre was different in many ways but also some parts were the same. How is it different? Well, obviously everything was cheap. Pennies for the pit seats, a few more for the galleries, and then the boxes were the most expensive which were probably not as expensive today. Another thing is, they had posters but they weren't really posters or like programs. They contained no lists of actors, and there were no programs, ushers, or tickets or any of the stuff we have today. The name was announced when you got to the actual play. Their playhouses were not sheltered. They were outside, unlike today how we have a building with a roof over our head for plays. They even had vendors walking around giving out food, like at a stadium!
Once plays started being written, the number of interested spectators increased. In order to satisfy the Greeks amphitheaters were constructed all over Greece. Three well-known theaters were the theater at Delphi, the Attic Theater and the theater of Dionysus built at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. During their prime time, the plays attracted crowds of 30,000 and more. The stands were built around the orchestra and up hillsides; somewhat like a baseball stadium today. This made it possible to seat more than 17,000 spectators at a time.
Shakespeare was at the height of creative powers, and his theatrical company, the King's Men, was the official royal acting company. He had the large Globe Theater, a large public playhouse on the south bank of the Thames. He would soon open the Blackfriars Theater, a small private
Using certain shapes of materials and color helped the audience understand the scenery of the play, being able to understand what time period this took place. The lighting through the play was great, being able to clearly see in detail for each scene. For example, when the Stage manager introduces the people in Grover's Corner, is was clear and easy to see what type of life style they live. Grisel Torres did an excellent job with the angles, colors, and shadows throughout the play, really emphasizing the emotion and lighting for each scene. Allison Mortimer, the costume designer, did a good job figuring out what each character should wear and allowing the audience to decide which class each character fits in society. The costumes looked like they were somewhat middle class and even looked vintage at times. I wasn't sure if they were recreated or not. Changing costumes for different scenes made it easier to understand the aspect of the scene and allowing the audience to understand what will happen.
The Globe Theatre became what it is today because of its history. What was its history exactly? Unfortunately, those are two questions many people don’t have an answer to. So, what is the history?
There were other amenities that were lacking for the theaters. Almost all the lighting for the theater was natural light. This meant that most plays would have to be show during the daytime. The theaters did not have heating either. In the winter months they would have to shut the theater down and be transferred to indoor playhouses. This actually helped boost popularity because it gave the people something to do during the cold winter months since it was inside. There were no microphones or soundboards to be able to hear so actors had to speak loudly and clearly. Unfortunately, there were also no toilets at the theater. “But there were no toilets and the floor they stood on was probably just sand, ash or covered in nutshells” (Shakespeare Globe Education). During the summer hours when it would become real hot the pit would be called the “stinkards.”
During this time period, there were not any televisions, cell phones, or computers. Because of this people relied on the theater to keep them entertained. Though officially approved playhouses and acting companies had only been around for about five years The Lord Chamberlain's Men was one of the two acting companies that were permitted to perform in London city limits. Lord Chamberlain's Men used the globe theater, while the other group used the Rose Playhouse which was owned by an impresario and his son-in-law who was a former actor. In 1576 the Blackfriars Theater was built, but Lord Chamberlain's Men could not use it to perform in. This is why the Globe Theater was built in 1598, though they could not finish the original construction because
The Globe Theater’s history behind being built was based off the period of life that it was built in. After the plague ended in the 1800s, there was a company of actors known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men who needed a theatre to perform in. This group is where Shakespeare was first known to be part of. Many theatres were unable to reopen in England after the plague ended. The group performed in the Cross Keys Inn for a little while while looking for a theatre but there were restrictions for performing inside of the city’s limits. Shakespeare was the lead playwright for the group by the time the plans for the Globe came about. This group of actors were not the only actors that were struggling at the time because the Theatre, which was a main place for plays to be performed was closed after the lease for the land had expired and the owner refused to renew the lease. This sent Cuthbert and Richard Burbage, the sons of the original owner of the Theater who had died, into an outrage. They decided to build a new playhouse located in Bankside of London (Wright 71-76). The theater became famous for being the place where Shakespeare did
The site of the globe was excavated in 1997. The evidence from this excavation suggests that it was a three-story amphitheater between ninety-seven and one hundred and two feet. Excavation of a part of the foundation suggested it might have had the shape of a polygon of 20 sides. A rectangular stage was in the middle of the theater, forty-three feet in width, twenty-three feet in length, and raised 5 feet off the ground. Really, the Globe was, at its time, a modern theater with a few
To start with, one way the world of Shakespeare is different from today is the technology they had. When Shakespeare was born there wasn't electricity to power lights and chimneys were a new invention. Now almost every building has multiple artificial lights and we have lights that can change their color and processors that can do almost anything. This is supported in the article Shakespearean snapshots by Ace Pilkington when it says, "In Shakespeare's youth, chimneys were a new thing." The movie mentions that to get light to the theater they had to have an open roof. This allows for rain to fall in. Compared to modern theaters with over a foot of ceiling their technology is very poor. This shows how much technology has progressed
Dr. John C. Adams drew 15 scale models of the Globe playhouse, as the original might have looked. Dr. Adams wrote many books about the Globe, but his most famous was The Globe Playhouse. The Harvard University Press published it in 1942, and it is now widely recognized as “the most complete and integrated statement that Shakespearean scholarship has yet produced” (Irwin Smith). His main purpose of drawing these blueprints was to put his conclusions into a three-dimensional form by creating a scale model. He finished it in early 1950. Anyone who has adequate knowledge about the Globe can interpret his drawings, but a teenager or young adult who may not be familiar with The Globe would most likely be able to visualize what Adams had planned for
“There is that smaller world which is the stage, and that larger stage which is the world,” -Isacc Goldberg. These are important words, because theater is valued in our world today, and was especially important during the Middle Ages. The church was the main source of order and security during this time. Going to heaven was the only thing the people really lived for because they had nothing else. Theater was one of the few things the people of this time could find entertainment in. Theater helped the people escape from the unexciting and rough world they lived in, and allowed them to be placed in an exciting new world. There were many different types of plays during the Middle Ages: traveling performers, liturgical dramas, vernacular plays, cycle plays, and morality plays. All of these made up theater during the Middle Ages, and helped it to grow and change into what it is today.
Next, the performance at The Globe Theater help separate it’s self from the other theaters. “The plays at The Globe” article articulate, “As soon as a play had been written it was immediately produced and printed followed productions”(Alchin). Rival theaters would send out some of their workers to go to the plays to produce unauthorized copies, plays and they were copied quickly as possible. The fact that, other theaters copied The Globe Theater’s plays shows that the plays performed there had the other companies scared of losing their audience so they had to do something similar to The Globe Theater. It proves the plays performed were a huge success and very profitable. The plays and overall Theater had a tremendous influence on the people of England in several ways.
The third distinct part of the theater was the skene (scene building). "The earliest scene buildings were very simple wooden structures " (Butler 31). " Originally, the skene was a dressing room; later it is believed to have borne a painted backdrop" (Kennedy 1102). This area was known as the actors place. It was intended to provide a background against which actors could perform. "In Greek theater as we know it, the skene appears as a appendage, adjunct, breaking the perfect circularity of the design" (Arnott 13).
The theater that Cuthbert Burbage built for the Chamberlain's Men had a total capacity of between 2,000 and 3,000 spectators. Because there was no lighting, all performances at the Globe were conducted, weather permitting, during the day (probably most often in the mid-afternoon span between 2 P.M. and 5 P.M.). Because most of the Globe and all of its stage was open air, acoustics were poor and the actors were compelled by circumstances to shout their lines, stress their enunciation, and engage in exaggerated theatrical gestures. What would seem most striking to a modern (Broadway) theatergoer about the productions staged at the Globe is that they were completely devoid of background scenery. Although costumes