Globe Theatre Layout

Globe Theatre Layout
  • Interesting Facts and information about Globe Theatre Layout
  • Different elements of the  Globe Theatre Layout
  • Interesting Facts and information about Globe Theatre Layout - the yard or pit, the galleries, the stage, the doors, the stairs
Globe Theatre Layout

Interesting information about the Globe Theatre Layout during the life and times of William Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre of Elizabethan London, England

Globe Theatre Layout
The Globe Theatre Layout is housed in an open arena. Not one inside picture of the old Globe is in existence, however, a picture of another  Elizabethan theatre, the Swan, has survived. The following picture of the Swan theatre by Johannes de Witt, a Dutch traveller, is dated between 1596-1598. The layout of the open air arena, featured the 'pit' or the 'yard'. The Globe had a raised stage at one end and was surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with balconies overlooking the back of the stage. The stage projected halfway into the 'pit'.

Globe Theatre Layout
The Layout of the Globe Theatre:

  • Shape of the building - It had been assumed that the Globe Theatre had been an octagonal shaped building. This assumption was based on the illustrated Visscher map engraving of 1616.  But recent archaeological evidence and other documents, such as the illustrated Hollar map, indicate that it was actually a 20-sided building.
  • Overall layout - Layout was similar but far smaller version (1500 -3000 audience capacity) than the Coliseum in Rome which had a 50,000 audience capacity
  • The Pit or the Yard - The stage layout projected halfway into the ' yard ' where the commoners stood to watch the plays
  • The Galleries - The seats in each of the three levels of galleries were tiered 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
  • Access - the Globe had a main entrance door and an exit door
  • Stairs - There were two sets of stairs in the layout which were situated either side of the theatre
  • Toilet facilities - There were no toilet facilities, neither was there heating or lighting
  • The stage - The Stage was 5 feet high, between 20 and 45 foot wide and between 15 foot and to 45 feet long
  • The rear of the stage - A roofed house-like structure was at the rear of the stage, supported by two large ' Herculean ' columns (pillars) made of huge, single tree trunks. The pillars supported a roof called the ' Heavens '
  • Rear Stage Wall - Behind the pillars was the stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae '
  • The Lords Rooms - Immediately above stage wall was the stage gallery that was used by actors (Juliet's balcony) & the rich the nobility - known as ' Lord's rooms'
  • Gentlemen's rooms - There were additional balconies on the left and right of the ' lord's rooms ' which were called the ' Gentlemen's rooms '
  • The ' Tiring House ' - The stage wall structure contained at least two doors which lead to a small structure, back stage, called the ' Tiring House '
  • The ' Hut ' - Above the ' Tiring House ' was a small house-like structure called the 'hut' complete with roof

Globe Theatre Layout
Interesting Facts and information about the Globe Theatre Layout. Additional details, facts and information about the Globe Theatre can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.

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