The Age Of Elizabethan Theatre Essay Research

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The Age Of Elizabethan Theatre Essay, Research Paper Elizabethan Theatre -called this in honour of the current Queen (Queen Elizabeth I) -a period of great unrest in England concerning England’s official religion -Queen Elizabeth declared that no plays could be about the current religious matters or portray current political figures -”Master of Revels” was the offical censor of all plays -the Queen had to approve all the plays that were performed in London -Queen Elizabeth liked Shakespeare’s plays and gave him support and protection Acting Companies and Theatre Owners -theatres had to be licenced and acting companies had to be sponsored by a patron whose rank was no lower than a baron -Shakespeare was a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which was later known as

the King’s Men -playwrights wrote to depict life as it was and let the audiences draw their own conclusions – holding up a mirror to nature and entertaining -performances started at 2:00 to make the most of daylight -James Burbage created the first theatre in London in 1576, called “The Theatre” -when Shakespeare moved to London, he met with Burbage and became a promptor, then he became an actor, and later he became Burbage’s star writer -Richard and Cuthbart Burbage opened “The Globe Theatre” in 1599 -Shakespeare produced most of his plays in the Globe and became part owner -Shakespeare was a very popular playwright in his day and other playwrights were jealous of his success -after 1603, Shakespeare had to write plays that would please the new King James I of

Scotland (one of these is Macbeth ) -James I made theatre more widely acceptable in English culture and he contributed greatly to Shakespeare’s sucess The Theatre Itself -theatres held 1500 – 3000 people -sanitary conditions were poor and diseases could pass around in theatres -theatre was not popular with local merchants because it took away from business -the Globe burned down in 1613 during a production of Henry VIII, but then rebuilt in 1614 -the theatre was open air and the stage was usually bare -actors usually tell us where they are and what time of day it is in their lines. -the stage was a raised platform, it had a stage house behind the back wall to store props and for the actors to change their costumes if needed, and make entrances and exits from -there was a

balcony, called the “inner above” to be used if needed, but most of the action took place downstage The Actors -actors usually wore their own clothes unless they were portraying someone evil, royal, or female -women were not allowed to perform on stage and so boys would perform all female parts -boys were apprentised to the acting profession between the ages of 6 and 14 -actors would have to learn many parts of a play, since up to three different plays would be performed in the same week by a company -acting was not a well respected profession at this time The Closing of the Theatres -theatre was popular until 1642 when the Puritans closed down all theatres -Puritans believed that playhouses were evil because it had nothing to do with God -the Restoration Period began in1660

with the instatement of King Charles II Overview of an Elizabethan Outfit or “She must be stifling in that thing” http://www.dnaco.net/~aleed/corsets/index.html This is a listing of the main elements of Elizabethan costume. (By the term “Elizabethan”, I mean the dress worn by the English approximately during Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1560-1600). Each item is accompanied by a short definition and explanation accompanying each item as well as pointers to more detailed information elsewhere at this site. Even when one doesn’t take into account the variations in style between 1550 and 1590, and the radical spectrum of fashion occurring between the middling poor and nobility, there is a bewildering variety in English Elizabethan womenswear–French gowns, round gowns, loose