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Shakespearean Theater

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Ms. Reaves

on 14 October 2010

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Transcript of Shakespearean Theater

Timeline of Important Dates
Nov. 17, 1558 Queen Elizabeth comes to throne
1564 William Shakespeare is born
1576 The Theatre constructed
1577 The Curtain constructed
1587 The Rose constructed
1590s history plays written including:

1592 several of Shakespeare's play had reached the stage by this
time, including:

1594 from this time on, Shakespeare was a part of the
Lord Chamberlain's Men
1595 The Swan Theatre constructed
1595-1601 comedies written including:
Richard III
Henry IV, part 1 and 2
Henry V
3 parts of Henry VI
probably The Comedy of Errors
Titus Andronicus
Much Ado About Nothing
As You Like It
Twelfth Night
The Merchant of Venice (c. 1596)
All's Well That Ends Well
Measure for Measure
The Winter's Tale
The Tempest
Shakespearean Theatre
1598-99 Hamlet probably written around this time
1599 The Globe Theatre constructed
1601-1604 dark comedies written including:

1603 Lord Chamberlain's Men become The King's Men
because James I takes the throne
1601-1606 Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth written
1608-1611 romance plays written including:

1616 Shakespeare dies
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
The Globe Theatre
Discussion Questions
•What types of performances would you expect to see at the playhouses?
•Do you think that since both the upper and lower classes went to see the plays this caused some social clash between the two?
•Some playwright’s criticized Shakespeare; Robert Greene is quoted saying that Shakespeare is “an upstart crow beautified by our feathers.” Why do you think some playwright’s felt this way?
Types of Playhouses
There were 2 types of playhouses during the time of Shakespeare:
1. open air ampitheatres
relied on natural light
stage extended into center
audience could stand around the stage in the yard or in the galleries that enclosed the theatre
example: The Globe
2. indoor halls
rectangular with stage along one side
seats right in front of stage were most expensive
people could also sit in the galleries
lit by candles and torches
This is a picture of the Swan Theatre. This is the only picture we have of any of the four major ampitheatres. This is probably what the Globe would have resembled.
constructed in 1599
stood next to the Rose Theatre on the south side of the Thames
designed by Cuthbert Barbage for the Lord Chamberlain's Men
burnt down in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII; rebuilt within the next year
1. outer stage: rectangle platform extending into courtyard, thatched roof, no curtains
2. inner stage: recess between 2 projecting wings; used by actors who were in the scene but not directly involved in the immediate action, or used when scene took place in an inner room
3. "hell" large cellar underneath inner and outer stage; allowed for the appearance of ghosts
4. tiring house: held dressing room, prop room, musician's gallery and connecting passageways
where shakespeare's company performed the majority of their plays
in 1559, Queen Elizabeth issued a proclamation that players must be licensed
once licensed, a player became a part of a company of actors
originally the Queen was a patron of the Queen's Men; the company reorganized and became the Admiral's Men and the Lord Chamberlain's Men
Examples of companies:
Admiral's Men
Lord Strange's Men
Lord Chamberlain's Men (Shakespeare's company)
King's Men
Pembroke's Men
all players were men, even for women and children parts
little is known about how acting was taught
leading players had shares in their companies (ex. Shakespeare had a share in the Lord Chamberlain's Men)
Lord Chamberlain's Men
organized in 1594
Richard Burbage and Shakespeare were among the players
became King's Men in 1603 when James I took the throne
most of Shakespeare's plays were written for this company
played at the Theatre, Globe, and at court for the Queen and then King
Richard Burbage, son of James Burbage who built the Theatre
poorer audience members paid 1 penny to stand in front of stage, richer paid as much as half a crown to sit in the galleries
Shakespeare's audience would have been composed of tanners, butchers, iron workers, millers, seamen, glovers, servants, shopkeepers, wigmakers, bakers, and other tradesmen
an audience during this time would be loud and hot-tempered and just as interested with what was going on off stage as on the stage
Edward Alleyn-> Admiral's Men
Full transcript