Elizabethan Theatre History
Elizabethan theatre history is fascinating. How plays were first produced in the yards of inns - the Inn-yards. The very first theatre and the development of the amphitheatre! The Elizabethan Entrepreneurs ( the men with the ideas and the money!). The building, design and construction of the Globe. The builders! The location! The plays, the playwrights, the politics and the propaganda all play an important part in Elizabethan theatre history. The great success of the theatre and the part that the Puritans played in its downfall - the ups and downs of Elizabethan theatre history.
The history of the Elizabethan Theatre is a short and turbulent one. The success and popularity shown by Elizabethan theatre history during the life of William Shakespeare is an outstanding success story for the theatrical entrepreneurs of the era. The Elizabethan period saw the rise in the popularity of theatres and during this time the staging of plays moved from renovated inn-yards to the building of huge out door amphitheatres, such as the Globe, which were used for the summer seasons and the building or renovation of indoor theatres, used in the Winter seasons and by royalty, called Playhouses. The Elizabethan Theatre history started in 1576 and continued in England until the Protestants came to power. By 1648 Elizabethan theatres and playhouses were ordered to be pulled down, all actors to be seized and whipped, and anyone caught attending a play to be fined five shillings - but this was not the end of the Elizabethan theatre history!
Key Events in Elizabethan Theatre History
The key events in Elizabethan Theatre history are as follows:
- In 1576 James Burbage (father of the actor, Richard Burbage) started the Elizabethan theatre history by obtaining a lease and permission to build 'The Theatre' in Shoreditch, London.
- The Lord Chamberlain's Men use it from 1594 to 1596
- Another open air amphitheatre called The Curtain opens in 1577 at Finsbury Fields, Shoreditch, London
- In 1593 Elizabethan Theatres, including the Globe, close due to the Bubonic Plague
- The Lord Chamberlain's Company (formally known as 'Lord Strange Men') was formed in 1594
- The first document mentioning William Shakespeare in connection with the 'Theatre' was made in 1595 March 15
- From 1596 to 1597 London's authorities banned the public presentation of plays within the city limits of London
- The Globe Theatre is opened on Bankside in 1599
- The Bubonic Plague (The Black Death) again ravages London killing 33,000 people - all Elizabethan theatres close again in 1603
- Fire broke out at the Globe Theatre - destroying the theatre in 1613. It was re-built the following year on its original foundations and this time the roof was tiled, not thatched
- The English Civil War beaks out in 1642 between the Parliamentarians (Puritans) and the Royalists and on September 2 Parliament issues an ordinance suppressing all stage plays
- In 1644 tthe Globe Theatre was demolished by the Puritans and its landowner Sir Matthew Brend builds tenement houses on the site
- Even stricter rules passed by the Puritans in 1647 restricting the staging of plays
- The Puritans ordered all playhouses and theatres to be pulled down in 1648, all players to be seized and
whipped, and anyone caught attending a play to be fined five shillings
- The English Civil War finally leads to the terrible execution of King Charles I by the Parliamentarians
(Puritans) and in 1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England. Cromwell dies in 1658 and the power of the Puritans starts to decline
- King Charles II is restored to the throne of England in 1660 and the period called the Restoration sees the opening of the theatres again
- Interesting information and facts about Elizabethan Theatre History
Elizabethan Theatre History
Interesting Facts and information about the development of the Elizabethan Theatre. Additional details, facts and information about the Elizabethan Theatre can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.