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THE GLOBE THEATRE History and Timeline 1576 James Burbage (father of the actor, Richard Burbage) obtains lease and permission to build 'The Theatre' in Shoreditch, London. The Lord Chamberlain's Men use it from 1594 to 1596. 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 Stranges Men' was formed. 1595 March 15, First document mentioning Shakespeare connected with the Theatre. 1596 July - The Lord Chamberlain dies and the acting troupe lose this important patron. 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. 1597 Shakespeare's company of actors moved to the Curtain Theatre after failed negotiations for a new lease for the 'Theatre'. 1598 Christmas - 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. 1601 Shakespeare's acting troupe, the Chamberlain's Men, were commissioned to stage Richard II at the Globe. 1613 June 29, Fire at the Globe Theatre. 1614 Globe Theatre was rebuilt on original foundations, this time the roof is tiled, not thatched. 1642 The English Civil War beaks out between the Parliamentarians (Puritans) and the Royalsists. 1642 September 2 - Parliament issues an ordinance suppressing all stage plays. 1644 The Globe Theatre demolished by the Puritans. 15th April. 1660 The Restoration, and the demise in the power of the Puritans, sees the opening of the theatres again. But the Globe Theatre is never re-built. The History of the Globe Theater History of Elizabethan London Theaters - including the Globe Theatre The first proper theater as we know it was called the Theatre, built at Shoreditch, London in 1576 and the owner was James Burbage. James Burbage had obtained a 21 year lease with permission to build the first playhouse, aptly named ' The Theatre '. Before this time plays were performed in the courtyard of inns or inn-yards, or sometimes, in the houses of noblemen or in extreme circumstances on open ground. After the Theatre, further open air playhouses ( theaters ) opened in the London area, including the Rose Theatre (1587), and the Hope Theatre (1613). The most famous Elizabethan playhouse ( theater ) was the Globe Theatre (1599) built by the company in which Shakespeare had a stake - now often referred to as the Shakespearean Globe. The full history of the Elizabethan Theater with all its theaters, playhouses and inn-yards is available by clicking the Elizabethan Theatre link which provides comprehensive information about Elizabethan Inn-Yards, Theaters and Playhouses. The Globe Theater, Bankside in Southwark, London The Globe, built by carpenter Peter Smith and his workers, was the most magnificent theater that London had ever seen and built in 1597 - 1598. This theatre could hold several thousand people! The Globe Theatre didn’t just show plays. It was also reputed to be a brothel and gambling house. It was situated on the South bank of the river Thames in Southwark. The old Globe Theatre was a magnificent amphitheatre, as shown in the picture at the top of the page. Maps of London clearly show the architecture of the Globe Theatre, and these have enabled an approximate picture of the old Globe Theatre to be drawn. Not one inside picture of the old Globe Theatre is in existence, however, a picture of another amphitheatre, the Swan, has survived. The amphitheatres were similar in design, so the picture of the Swan Theatre can be used a good guide to the structure of the old Globe. The Globe Theater Structure The Structure of the Globe Theater The structure of the Globe Theatre is a complex. Not one inside picture of the old Globe is in existence, however, a picture of another amphitheatre, the Swan, has survived. The following picture of the Swan by Johannes de Witt, a Dutch traveller, who visited the Swan is dated between 1596-1598. The picture was accompanied by what is probably the single most important source of our knowledge of the internal layout and structure of the Globe theatre. It consists of a diary note together with a sketch of the internal layout of the Swan Theatre.The Elizabethan amphitheatres were similar in design to the Globe Theatre, so the picture of the Swan can be used a good guide to the structure and layout of the amphitheatres including the old Globe. We have also included a modern representation of the interior of the Globe. For comprehensive facts and information visit the Globe Theatre Website Johannes de Witt's sketch of the Swan Theatre No inside picture of the Globe Theatre has survived. Use the sketch of the Swan Theatre as a reference guide to visualising the dimensions & structure of the Shakespearean Theatre Modern Representation of the Globe Theatre Use the picture of the Theatre as a reference guide to visualising the interior & structure of the Theatre The Structure and Design of the Globe Theatre Globe Amphitheatre Open arena design & structure - actors would also get wet if it rained! Size of amphitheatres Structure & Dimensions - Up to 100 feet in diameter Varying Shapes Octagonal structure , circular in shape having between 8 and 24 sides Structure - Timber, nails, stone (flint), plaster and thatched roofs. Globe Building materials Later amphitheatres had tiled roofs Globe Building Duration 6 months to build the structure The open air arena, called the 'pit' or the 'yard', had a raised stage at Overall design and structure one end and was surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with of the Globe Theatre balconies overlooking the back of the stage. The stage projected halfway into the 'pit' 1500 plus audience capacity. Up to 3000 people would flock to the Globe Audience Capacity theatre and its grounds The Grounds of the Globe Bustling with people & potential audience. Stalls selling merchandise theatre and refreshments. Attracted non playgoers to the market None . People relieved themselves outside. Sewage was buried in pits or Toilet Facilities disposed of in the River Thames. All theatres closed during outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague - disease would have spread via the rats & fleas The Entrance to the Globe Structure - Usually one main entrance. Some later theatres had theater external staircases in their structure to access the galleries Above the main entrance of the Globe was a crest displaying Hercules bearing the globe on his shoulders together with the motto "Totus The crest and motto of the mundus agit histrionem" (the whole world is a playhouse). This phrase Globe Theatre was slightly re-worded in the William Shakespeare play As You Like It - "All the world’s a stage". The 'Box ' Playgoers put 1 penny in a box at the theatre entrance The Stage Gallery above the Immediately above stage wall was the stage gallery that was used by Stage Wall actors (Juliet's balcony) & the rich the nobility - known as ' Lord's The ' Lord's rooms ' rooms.' Considered the best seats in the ' house ' despite the poor view of the back of the actors. The audience would have a good view of the Lords. The ' Lord's rooms ' And the Lords were able to hear the actors clearly. The cost was 5 pence & cushioned seats were provided Music was an extra effect added in the 1600's. The musicians would Musicians also reside in the Lords rooms There were additional balconies on the left and right of the ' lord's rooms ' which were called the ' Gentlemen's rooms '. For rich patrons The ' Gentlemen's rooms ' of the Globe theater - the cost was 4 pence & cushioned seats were provided The stage wall structure contained at least two doors which lead to a leading to small structure, back stage, called the ' Tiring House '. The The ' Tiring House ' stage wall was covered by a curtain. The actors used this area to change their attire Above the ' Tiring House ' was a small house-like structure called the The ' Hut ' 'hut' complete with roof. Used as covered storage space for the troupe Above the hut was a small tower with a flag pole. Flags were erected on the day of the performance which sometimes displayed a picture Elizabethan advertising advertising the next play to be performed. Colour coding was also used - a black flag meant a tragedy , white a comedy and red a history. The stage structure projected halfway into the ' yard ' where the The ' yard ' commoners (groundlings) paid 1 penny to stand to watch the play. They would have crowded around the 3 sides of the stage structure. Groundlings Commoners who paid 1 penny admission to stand to watch the play During the height of the summer the groundlings were also referred to ' Stinkards ' as ' stinkards ' for obvious reasons Two sets of stairs, either side if the theater structure . The stairways Access to the Galleries could also be external to the main structure to give maximum seating space Seats in the galleries - Three Structure - The seats in each of the three levels of galleries were tiered levels with three rows of wooden benches, increasing in size towards the back, following the shape of the building and structure. The galleries were covered affording some shelter from the elements. The Globe Theater - the Event Days out at the Globe Theater would have been an exciting event. The grounds surrounding the Globe Theater would have been bustling with people. There would be Stalls selling merchandise and refreshments creating a market day atmosphere. Non playgoers would flock to the Globe Theater to go to the market stalls and 'soak in ' the holiday-like atmosphere. The Globe would have particularly attracted young people and they were many complaints of apprentices avoiding work in order to go to the theater. A trumpet was sounded to announce to people that the play was about to begin at the Globe Theatre in order for people to take their final places. The Globe Theater - the Productions The purpose built Globe theatre allowed stage productions to become quite sophisticated with the use of massive props such as fully working canons, although it would of course had to be left on stage for the entire performance of the play. Special effects at the Globe were also a spectacular addition at the theater allowing for smoke effects, the firing of a real canon, fireworks (for dramatic battle scenes) and spectacular 'flying' entrances from the rigging in the 'heavens'. The stage floor had trap-doors allowing for additional surprising incidents. Music was another addition to the Globe productions. It was no wonder that the Globe Theater and this form of Elizabethan entertainment was so popular. The sight of Shakespearean actors apparently flying must have been quite amazing to the diiscerning Elizabethan Theater audiences. The Globe Theater - the Actors The Globe Theater audience never had time to get bored. In just two weeks Elizabethan theaters could often present “eleven performances of ten different plays”. The Shakespearean Actors generally only got their lines as the play was in progress. Parts were often allocated on the day of the performance. Many times the actors didn't even get their own lines. They did "cue acting ", which meant that there was a person backstage who whispered the lines to the actor just before he was going to say them. This rapid turnover led to another technique called “ cue scripting ”, where where each actor was given only his own lines. The complete scene of the play was not explained to the actors until it was actually being performed. This technique allowed for zero rehearsal time, thus enabling a fast turnover in terms of new productions at the Globe Theater and a huge portfolio of different roles. There were no actresses. Female characters had to be played by young boys. The acting profession was not a credible one and it was unthinkable that any woman would appear in a play. Two of the most notable actors of the Elizabethan era were Edward Alleyn and Will Kempe. Edward Alleyn became immensely wealthy due to stake holding in a theatre company (the Admiral's men). The Globe Theater audiences The Elizabethan general public (the Commoners) referred to as groundlings would pay 1 penny to stand in the 'Pit' of the Globe Theater. The gentry would pay to sit in the galleries often using cushions for comfort! Rich nobles could watch the play from a chair set on the side of the Globe stage itself. Theatre performances were held in the afternoon, because, of course, there was no artificial lighting. Men and women attended plays, but often the prosperous women would wear a mask to disguise their identity. The plays were extremely popular and attracted vast audiences to the Globe. The audiences only dropped during outbreaks of the bubonic plague, which was unfortunately an all too common occurrence during the Elizabethan era. The End of the Globe Theater - the Puritans In 1642, under the force of the Puritans, the English Parliament issued an ordinance suppressing all stage plays in the theatres. The Puritans were a religious faction and the term came into general usage at the end of the reign of Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary). A broad definition of the puritans is 'those who wanted to completely change the Church of England, with its Roman Catholic type of structure and traditions, for another reformed and plain church model'. This strict religious view spread to encompass many social activities within England moving to a stricter code of conduct which deplored any kind of finery or flippant behaviours. 1642 was a truly eventful year for England. The Puritans, lead by Oliver Cromwell, who had been elected to Parliament came into total conflict with the Royalists lead by King Charles I. The English Civil war broke out. In 1644 the Globe Theatre was demolished by the Puritans. In 1647 Even stricter rules were passed regarding stage plays and theatres. This culminated in 1648 when all playhouses were ordered to be pulled down. All players were to be seized and whipped, and anyone caught attending a play to be fined five shillings. In 1649 the Civil War finally lead to the terrible execution of King Charles I . In 1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England. In 1658 Cromwell dies and the power of the Puritan starts to decline. In 1660 King Charles II is restored to the throne of England. With the Restoration of the English monarchy and , and the demise in the power of the Puritans in 1660 the theatres finally open again. But the Globe is never re-built. The New Globe Theatre The New Globe Location PRODUCED BY THE IV H 2006-2007 : Agrusti D., Architetto M., Alastra A., Bascio A., Battiata B., Cardella D., Cardella V., Catalano L., Catania S., Di Fatta E., Diona A., Di Petro M., Garuccio M., Giacalone F., Incandela F., La Torre M., Maceli G., Mendola G., Peraino A., Sangiuseppe D., Schifano M., Silvestro F., Tranchida G., Virgilio C. With the collaboration of the Teacher Sinatra Anna.
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