Globe Theatre Stage
The Globe Theatre Stage dimensions were believed to be as follows:
- Height of the stage - 5 feet
- Width of Stage - approx 45 foot wide
- Length of the stage - approx 30 feet long
The above picture of the New Globe Theatre stage illustrates some of the different elements of the original Globe Theatre stage.
Globe Theatre a Stage of two parts
The original Globe Theatre Stage had two main parts - the outer stage and the inner stage:
- The outer stage projected from the back stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae ' into the the central yard or pit. There were no side or front curtains - from this are of the stage everything was visible
- The inner stage - was a recess at the back of the outer stage. This back part of the stage was used by actors who were not directly involved in the immediate action of the play, and it was also used when a scene took place in an inner room. Many of the plays by William Shakespeare featured a scene within a scene, such as Miranda and Ferdinand playing chess as a backdrop to the main scene in 'The Tempest'
Globe Theatre Stage the Trapdoors and 'Hell'
Trap doors were built into the stage allowing dramatic entrances during the performances of plays. The height of the stage was five feet - so the area beneath the stage was easily big enough to hold actors. This area underneath the stage was given the title "Hell". This was taken from the term 'hell mouth' which was used to refer to any trap-door in the bottom of a stage (called the cellerage). The Globe theatre stage was believed to have had two trap doors on the outer stage and one trap door on the inner stage called the "grave trap" Actors would hide in "Hell" waiting to make their entrance or to create other special effects. Unusual special effects could be made from 'Hell' including different sounds using different musical instruments such as the trumpet, or drums. Actors skilled in imitating the baying of hounds and crowing of roosters or the wailing of ghostly sounds would also be waiting in 'Hell'.
Globe Theatre Stage Description
The overall Globe Theatre Stage description is as follows:
- The Globe stage structure projected halfway into the ' yard ' where the commoners (groundlings) paid 1 penny to stand to watch the play
- The stage wall structure contained at least two doors which lead to a leading to small structure, back stage, called the ' Tiring House '. The stage wall was covered by a curtain. The actors used this area to change their attire
- Above the stage wall was the stage gallery known as ' the Lord's rooms that were used by actors, musicians and rich patrons
- Above the ' Tiring House ' was a small house-like structure called the 'hut' complete with a roof. Used as covered storage space for the troupe
- Two large, ornate pillars supported a roof over the stage which was called the ' Heavens '. The 'Herculean' pillars were made of huge, single tree trunks which were drilled through the centre to eliminate warping of the wood. They were painted to give a marble appearance emulating the Roman and Greek classic styles
- Behind the pillars was the stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae ' (taken from the name given by Imperial Rome to the stage walls of their amphitheatres)
- The stage had a doorway to the left and right and a curtained central doorway from which the actors made their entrances.
Globe Theatre Stage
Interesting Facts and information about the Globe Theatre Stage. Additional details, facts and information about the Globe Theatre can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.