The Globe Theatre was constructed in 1598. It became one of four major theaters in London. The others were the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope.
Its shape was octagonal, and it stood three stories high with a diameter of approximately 100 feet, with a seating capacity of up to 3,000 spectators. The rectangular stage on which the plays were performed was nearly 43 feet wide and 28 feet deep. There was probably a trap door in the stage and, perhaps, some primitive rigging overhead for special stage effects.
Fifteen years after it was built, it burned to the ground. It was rebuilt and used until 1642 when the Puritans closed all London theaters. Two years later it was demolished.
In 1989, its foundations were re-discovered and a new Globe Theatre was completed near the site of the original. Appropriately, Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Globe in 1996. Her predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I,was a great benefactor of playwrights and theaters in Shakespeare’s time. The first production in the new Globe was Shakespeare’s Henry V. “Shakespeare’s Globe.” 28 March 2008. Shakespeare Resource Center. 11 May 2008. <www.bardweb.net/globe.html >.
AUDIENCE: Those who watched from the yard were called ______________________ or stinkards because they smelled. Bathing was not a common practice in 16th century London. They had a reputation for being rowdy and would boo or hiss the actors on stage if they did not like the performance, as well as cheer and applaud when they did. Because the only seats were in the gallery, the groundlings would have to ___________________ for the entire performance. groundlings stand
Those spectators in the galleries had seats. This is where the wealthier people sat. Cost varied depending on how close you were to the stage.
Because of the great variety of people who came to see plays, playwrights attempted to appeal to all members of the audience. Shakespeare would write ______________ scenes in his tragedies and present _________________ moments in his comedies. comic serious
The Globe burned to the ground when sparks from a _________________ fired during Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII set the thatched roof on fire. cannon
Plays were performed in the afternoon when it was light. There was no artificial ___________________ for the Globe Theater, nor could the theater be darkened for a night time scene. lighting
Actors worked for an acting company. The company was supported by a wealthy aristocrat who became the company’s patron. During Queen Elizabeth’s reign Shakespeare’s company was known as the __________________ because their patron was Lord Chamberlain. Lord Chamberlain’s Men
Costuming in the play was an important way for the characters to convey information about their role. The style and color of the clothes communicated information to the audience to indicate if the character was a lawyer, soldier, servant, royalty, etc. The costumes worn were those of the _________________period. There were no “period costumes” like togas to represent the Romans in Julius Caesar. Elizabethan
A company acquired costumes by purchasing the “cast offs” of the aristocracy and/or of their patron. Costumes were considered a very valuable part of the company and were an item on which most of their funds were spent.
Today’s word props derived from the __________________ that acting companies owned and used in their performances (swords, shields, plates—even a coffin for funerals). properties
Staging: There was little, if any, scenery. The stage was a bare rectangle jutting out into the yard on three sides. The groundlings surrounded the stage on all three sides. There was no curtain. Often the language, costuming or sound effects were used to set the scene.
Actors: ALL parts were played by men. Women’s roles were played by ________________ whose voices had not yet changed. boys
1. How many toilets were there at the Globe in Shakespeare's day? None - people had to pass a bucket round!
2. What sort of people went to the Globe theatre? Everyone went to the theatre - both rich and poor. But they sat in different parts of the theatre - the galleries upstairs cost more than the yard (where people had to stand).
3. How did people behave at the theatre? They wandered around the yard, eating and talking to each other. The atmosphere was more like a concert than a theatre today.
4. What signaled that the play was about to begin? A cannon went off. BOOM
5. What was a cutpurseand what might happen to them at the theatre? A cutpurseis a pickpocket. They might be tied to the side of the stage and have food thrown at them.
6. How would Shakespeare's special effects man create the sound of birds? He would blow bubbles into water (try it yourself...)
7. What sort of scenery did Shakespeare's theatre have? None - they would set the scene through the costumes, language, and sound-effects.
8. How did Shakespeare's company light their plays? They had no artificial lighting - it was all done during the day, so there was no way of making the stage dark, either.
9. Where did the players get their best costumes from? Costumes were bought second-hand from rich aristocrats who no longer wanted them when the clothes went out of fashion.
10. What would the audience do if they didn't like a play? Shout and throw things at the actors - if they were noisy enough, the actors might start acting a different play.
11. Did all theatre companies own a theatre to perform in? No, many of them had to travel round the country performing in inns (pubs or hotels) etc.
12. What was unusual about female characters? They were played by boys.
13. What did the area under the stage symbolize when actors shouted from underneath it? Under the stage represented hell, purgatory, or any other supernatural realm.