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Globe Theater



Shakespeare's Theatres

In age of the professional theater both before and after Shakespeare,  companies plied their trade in a myriad of different locations, often tailoring plays to suit their spaces and actors.  From private playhouses to private estates (such as the Queen's palace), the acting companies produced their plays to accommodate any space for anytime of day or night.  Companies emerged from centuries of traveling theater where wondering troupes placed wooden boards on barrels (where the term treading the boards originated) and performed in Inn yards and open spaces  throughout the country.  In England, the profession of vagabonds and cutthroats got its start when carpenter James Burbage, the founder of Shakespeare's company, partnered with some relatives to open a performance space simply called The Theatre.  This was the first structure in London solely built to house plays, which never went down well with the city fathers who saw the profession as being one notch above or lower than prostitution.  Despite the nay sayers and repeated closings, The Theatre prevailed and spawned several clones such as The Swan, The Curtain, and The Rose.  The Curtain was later converted to the famous Globe which is what most people recognize Shakespeare with.  The Globe while versatile and having a large audience capacity, was always subject to the elements and was unusable during the winter.   Building on their later successes, the company converted and later performed in the former Blackfriars monastery.  The theater took the name of the monastery and was built for a year round and mostly nighttime showings for higher paying clientele.

Wherever Shakespeare and his company would produce their plays he primarily wrote his plays to satisfy the performance conditions and audience tastes of these two venues.  To learn more about each theater click on the side links or or links below.


To view other Shakespeare Library sections:

Biography     Plays     Poems     Sonnets     Theaters     Shake Links

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