Theatre & ShakespeareByZach, Dolly, Sana, DominikaThe World Before the TheaterActing and plays existed long before 1576James Burbage bought land constructed the first theatre in London in 1576Guilds were tired of hectic city life built theatreRespectable craftsmen organized plays often told stories from the bibleHad fewer resources, carried heavy equipment for long distances in guilds productions were simpleHad a small number of actors roles were doubledPlays mixed comedy and tragedy
James BurbageThe Plot Heard Around the WorldBurbage originally created a round, unroofed, simple yet functional structure for the theatreHowever he wanted to profit spent more money to make the theatre fancyEventually the idea of theatres grew Burbage, along with many others began creating/investing in theatres all over EnglandDomestic activity flourished in public theatres
First theater, TheaterBattle Lines Drawn1580s-90s: setting for clashes between enemies and friends of the theater.The Privy Council was on the side of the actors because they usually played in the Court for the Queen.Drama and acting= a fearful commercial forceBusiness owners/merchants angry that actors were now competitorsRefused to acknowledge acting as a job/work.Preachers/Puritans condemned theater and playsTook away their audiences Considered the theater as Satans SynogogueMoral Plague - spreading of bad moral in theatersElizabethans uncomfortable with theater, felt it was dangerousAnyone/anything could change their identity (poor people acting as upperclassmen, etc)OriginsBefore the creation of permanent theaters and acting companies, actors and musicians joined together to create troupes To these people, touring was their way of life and main source of incomeTroupes got licenses from the mayor to performTraveled in small groups (no more than 3-4 men)Performed in town squares, marketsThey traveled too casually (relaxed, unconcerned), and were often considered annoyances and a threat to a communitys peace and quietWhenever an official threatened to banish them, actors flashed their license to perform, however most of the time, the person that gave them the license, the Earl of ___ or the Lord of ___ does not know what their actors are up to. Double TroubleVagabonds- traveling players who performed without protection of a noblemanPlayers became permanent professional companies in London to avoid punishment.First royal permit was granted by the Queen to Earl of Leicesters servants to continue plays.Queens Men- popular companyActing was considered a trade in 1570s.
Traveling players performing A Rung on the LadderCommercial theater = business increaseUsually ten actors who owned shares in the acting company.Shakespeares company grew.Men in company split both the costs and profits of putting on a play.Actors got the opportunity to become prosperous middle class citizens.Hired men= menial servantsBook-keeper kept all the details relating to the play itself.Young boys received theatrical education from experienced adult actors in the company. Role of theater manager varied from company to company.Philip Henslowe- one of the most famous and powerful house-keepersDouble the FunAs companies became more established, competition between them grewDominated by Lord Chamberlain's Men and Lord Admirals MenLord Admirals Men had Edward Alleyn, a superstar of his dayLord Chamberlains company was more popular -> Shakespeare was in this companyAfter the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, Lord Chamberlains Men were promoted to the Kings Men The biggest threat to Lord Chamberlains Men was Burbages expired lease on the Theater -> they secretly moved the theater South of Thames and called it the Globe
The GlobeGlobal DimensionsThe move to the globe was the beginning of a new era of prosperity for Chamberlains Men and Shakespeare -> famous actors Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, Robert ArminA challenge to the monopoly held by Lord Chamberlains and Admiral's men was the revival of boy-only companies in the early 1600s The Earl of Worcesters Men (domestic comedians) finally managed to break the double monopolyAll three companies battled for audiences -> this required extremely varied and ever changing schedule of playsCompanies who managed to keep up the schedule and create season hits were invited to perform at the queens, and later kings, court -> a great honorWhen the plague hit in the summer and theaters closed, the players were forced to travel againThe real core of the theater world was to be found in London, EnglandThe End