Elizabethan Theatres

My knowledge on theatres in Elizabethan England. Hope it helps.

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  • Elizabethan Theatres
    • Key theatre words
      • The trumpeter blew several times to inform people that the performance was about to begin
      • The flag was flown from the theatre at the top to inform local people that a play would be reformed that day.
      • The heavens was the building above the stage which contained the hoisting machines which raised and lowered props for the stage. Special effects such as thunder and lightening were produced there.
      • The balcony was used by musicians and for special scenes by actors
      • The tiring house was the actor's dressing room which was behind the stage.
      • The roof was open to the sky which allowed natural light. Plays were performed in the afternoon and no artificial lighting was used.
      • The galleries seated around 2000 people and were for the wealthy who paid extra to seat there around the yard.
      • The stage was raised and it projected i not the yard. There were no curtains across the front and very little scenery was used. Only the back part of the stage was roofed. The ceiling was usually painted with pictures of the heavens.
      • The yard/ pit was were poor people or groundlings stood. They were close to the actors and it would be very noisy. The yard was open to the sky and people got wet if it rained.
    • Why did  London authorities oppose the theatre?
      • It caused drunkenenss and fights by used.
      • People stopped attending church on Sunday which was when the play were performed.
      • Various robberies took place.
      • People thought that the actors were beggars.
      • Theatres such as the Globe, the Swan and the Rose were built outside of the city so that local authorities couldn't stope them.
      • Diseases such as smallpox and the plague were spread.
    • Theatre facts
      • Actors were men
      • The theatres were overcrowded
      • A prologue was common to inform the people what the play would be about.
      • The cheaper seat were further back whereas now they are closer to the front
      • Theatres encouraged people not to go to work.
      • The first theatre was called the theatre which was built by Shakespeare.
      • Theatres gave people a sense of escapism form their hard, everyday life. Plays were usually set in other countries e.g Romeo and Juliet in Verona and people in the Elizabethan era didn't get to travel.
      • Shakespeare built the globe theatre. You had to stand and people sometimes fainted during the hot weather.
    • Theatre benefits
      • The queen enjoyed the theatre making it more popular. Plays were performed privately for her
      • It was a turning point for English Literature.
      • A play was created for Elizabeth


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