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Elizabethan Era Theatre Facts

Elizabethan theatre, well known for its intense drama, flighty romances and comedies has held within itself a treasure trove of art, music and literature. The Elizabethan theatre was rich in it culture and even now it is looked back with respect and admiration.

There are some facts about Elizabethan theatre that might be interesting to find out. The theatre itself came into being in the Elizabethan era, the brainchild of James Burbage and John Brayne. The world famous globe theatre was mad during the Elizabethan era and set a trend with its design. These theatres had an enormous capacity to hold audience and not surprisingly people used to turn up in thousands to view the latest stage production.

Elizabethan Theatre Facts

Elizabethan Theatre Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s plays were staged in Elizabethan theatres, in fact his ascent to fame started right here in the Elizabethan era. He also had a share in building of the Globe theatre, no doubt very profitable to the business. The Globe theatre took only a year to be constructed and it was mainly built by Peter Smith, a carpenter by profession.

The actors were all male as no women was supposed to offend her sensibilities, rather offend the mores and customs by allowing her person to be viewed by a large audience. In those days, there were strict rules for everything. From the way of talking to dressing and even places one could visit.

Elizabethan Theatre Facts

Elizabethan Theatre Facts

It all differed from class to class. The theatre, although taking great liberties was also bound by this rule. All female parts were played by male actors. These males were usually of slight built so as to credibly pass off as women on stage. Rouge and wigs of various types were used quite extensively.

The make-up was heavy and the dresses flamboyant and eye catching. The Elizabethan theatre made full use of music and ropes and props for effect. This had just begun and served as a trailblazer for times to come.

Elizabethan Theatre Audience

The audience had to deposit one penny at a counter and thus, be admitted into the theatre. The commoners were to stand at ground level. There used to be a huge rush and hustle bustle as so many people crammed into a small space tend to jostle and push. This was called the pit. There were two other levels and the balcony was reserved for the higher classes including royalty and titled audience.

Outside the theatre there would be booths selling food and toys and other refreshment.

The Elizabethan theatre, however, faced a sharp decline in audience once the plague broke out. In addition, the church was highly sceptical of theatres as they believed the activities that took place were blasphemous and unholy and certain undesirable elements were to be found here.

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