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Elizabethan Theater

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Lauren Smith

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of Elizabethan Theater

Elizabethan Theater
Actors during this time were viewed as low-lives and were not trusted, although they were viewed as slightly higher in the social chain than beggars.
There were three different types of theater:
Acting Troupes
An acting troupe is very similar to modern day acting companies- both are made of a group of actors that travel and perform together.
Famous Actors
Edward Alleyn
Richard Burbage
Henry Condell
John Hemmings
William Shakespeare
Seating & Admission
Seating in theaters depended on your social class:
Rise of Theater in England
Mixed Social Classes
Laws and Credentials
The Plague Outbreaks
The Fall of Theater
Resurrecting Theater


Famous Theaters
The Globe
The Theatre
The Rose
The Swan
Works Cited
The groundlings:
one penny
The middle class:
two to three pennies
benches/areas to sit
closer to stage
The upper class:
three or more pennies
usually private galleries
most comfortable areas of the theater
The result of religious disputes between the Puritans and the Anglicans
Puritans seeking to "purge England of unnecessary entertainments"
The increasing plague outbreaks
King Charles II searching to restore what had been lost
Theater brought together people from many different social classes
Sumptuary Laws are laws that relate to actors and their acting
Licenses were required to act and actors would be asked for them
Famous Troupes
Lord Strange's Men
Chamberlain's Men
Admiral's Men
King's Men
If an actor didn't have one to show officials, severe consequences were to follow.
Actors were required to perform their own stunts and had to make sure it looked realistic.
Women were forbidden to perform in theater, so, young boys played female role and often had to wear make up and wigs.
Plays were highly regulated and censored by the Office of Revels.
Special Effects,
& Costumes
The salaries of these actors varied with their role in the play-
Main roles paid 2 shillings a day
Other parts averaged 1 shilling a day
Boys were paid 3 shillings a week
Often plays were 3 hours long
Costumes are said to have been the single most expensive cost to acting companies
Inspired by art, culture, and ideas from Italy
Made popular because of Queen Elizabeth





Many stages had ropes and trap doors for special and surprise entrances and exits
Curtains and props adorned the otherwise empty stage
-Curtains would usually be a solid color
-Props would include small, easily movable objects
Special effects could include smoke effects, fireworks, using sacks filled with animal blood, retractable knifes, and even firing cannons
An actor's social ranking and their particular role could be in conflict with the Sumptuary Laws
Costumes used on stage were often historically
inaccurate and current fashion trends were worn
instead of representing the time period
In conclusion, theaters were an
essential and lasting part of the Elizabethan
Era. Plays were to the English as television is
to modern life; something to go to together, something to talk about, and something to love. Theater was an invaluable entertainment to the
rich as well as the poor, both gathered to see
such a spectacle. Even though temporarily shut
down, theaters persevered and evolved into
modern theater thanks to those who
pushed theater up and resurrected it.
Most were during the afternoon
Audience members were rude, rowdy, and loud
Full transcript