Theatre Tradition In The Renaissance Theatre

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Theatre Tradition: English Renaissance Theatre

The Renaissance as we all know and have learnt is defined as the cultural rebirth that occurred in Europe from the fourteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth century. The Renaissance is usually grouped with Italy and the artistic development that took place there, with the focus shifting from god or a higher deity to man, the emergence of the well renowned Leonardo Da Vinci, the idea of observing, evaluating and then coming to a conclusion were major influences in Italy and are often studied about. However the Renaissance affected other countries in similar ways to further their progress as a society. The Neoclassical Era in France, the Elizabethan Era in England all began during the
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But before the amphitheatres there were inn-yards. The Elizabethan Inn-yards were a fore-runner to Elizabethan Theatres - such as the Globe Theatre. Elizabethan Inns were always popular. Not only did they provide alcohol but they also provided rooms and lodgings for the Elizabethan traveller. All of these amphitheatres consisted of a large open space in which the audience would stand. This open space was called the pit and was meant for those people who couldn’t afford a proper seat within the theatre itself, this would usually cost only one penny. These audience members were called the “understanders” as they were not as educated and high class. Behind the ‘understanders’ would be three rings of galleries, one above the other, each nine or ten feet high, where the people were prepared to pay a little more for a better seat and cushions. For the upper class there were special seats, or rooms called the “lords rooms” which were positioned above the entrances of the stage. Even though the seats were poor for watching the play itself they were mainly to show the others their privilege. The stage itself was a “proscenium-arch” stage, putting the scenes into a pictorial frame allowing the audience to have a clear perspective of where to look at. Restoration theatres came into existence in 1660. The picture-frame stage is the basis of most modern staging and certainly the model for all cinema and television

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