ELIZABETHAN THEATRE
By Briana Ingraham
WHEN - TIMELINE
 Started in the late 1500’s and ended in the middle 1600’s.
* 1562 – Gorbodrc blank verse tragedy
* 1567 - First commercial play house
* 1580 – Tried to shut down all theatre’s in city, but
due to Queen’s love of Drama, they were
only shut down in epidemics.
* 1642 – Shut down all theatre’s, then reopened in
1660, but best time already gone.
WHEN - SEASONS
 At the start –
* Winter & Spring – Preformed in London (Homes,
courtyards, etc.)
* Summer & Fall – Went through neglected roads on
the English Countryside playing in taverns
for rooms.
WHERE DID THY ACT?
 Other places were
 Mainly played in Inn – yards,
Amphitheaters and theatres built
town squares/ residences and
outside of the city.
taverns.
* Built like Roman arena’s for the
* Mainly horseback travel
and played on cobble stone yards.
* Played for nobles or
royals in their homes on request.
light, room, and appeal to Roman
and Greek style plays.
* EX: The Curtain, The Globe,
The Rose, The Swan, and The
Fortune
WHAT TYPE OF
CHARACTERISTICS?
 The major characteristics of this time period consists of:
- Art, Drama, Poetry, Literature, Poetry, Music, and Her Royal
Majesty the QUEEN!
 During this time, the Queens image and actions influenced every part
of English culture including a lot of Drama and music. The Queen
attended many plays and soon all boy schools incorporated drama
into their curriculums.
 Fashion, image, music, and more all came from what the Queen did.
WHAT ABOUT THE PLAY?
 Playwrights consisted of middle class men and the bohemian society:
* William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greche,
John Lyly, Thomas Lodge, Robert Johnson….
* Wrote about the Queen, Nobles, Court Tragedies, Heroes,
Comedies, etc.
 Often directed their own plays and acted in them. Everyone
participated in setting up the set, the technical aspects, and props, but
playwrights had overall pick for what happens and where.
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4NJrxu5Xo - Quick review
WHAT ABOUT PERFORMERS?
Men Actors - Costumes
 Men were mainly the only
actors during the time. Younger
boys played the roles of women.
* Costumes: Dressed in
Nobel, Royal wear. Bright
colors with tons of orientation
from feathers to beads. Made
of velvet, furs, silks, lace,
cottons, or taffeta
Women Actors - Costumes
 Women were not fully
accepted into acting until 1660.
* Costumes: Also, dressed in
Nobel, and Royal wear. Bright
colors with trims and fabrics the
same as men. They had extra
attachments with bodice and
skirts that were big and flashy.
(Men’s often more fantsy)
Girls Clothing (First minute and a half = underclothes.
The rest is over top.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2bpZL2JHPE
AND THE STAGE?
 Set:
* Made to look like their scenes usually had props to change
the idea of scene to scene. Included false ceiling and trap doors.
 Props:
* Included ropes, wires, and harnesses for flying. Also, flowers
and flower petals. Music, live animals, blood, intestines, and
bones from dead animals.
STAGE - CONTINUED
 Sound:
* Cannons were used for battlefields as well as fireworks.
Thunder created from rolling a cannon ball. Actors made false
sounds they practiced for ‘Hell’. Musical instruments played a
large role in text painting.
 Music:
* Mostly orchestra, above stage, instruments like cymbals and
trumpets. They were used to act out scenes and give importance.
Or sound effects mostly.
WHO ARE THEY?
 Performers: (Main)
* Henry Condell, Richard Burbage, John Hemmings, William
Shakespeare, Edward Alley….
 Writers/Directors:
* William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greche,
John Lyly, Thomas Lodge, Robert Johnson….
 Associated Directly/Indirectly:
* Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, Robert Johnson, Nobles,
Courts
WHO WATCHED THE
PLAYS?
 Poor/Lower Class –
Open pit on the floor
where they could stand.
It was crowded and
gross.
 Middle/Upper Class/
Aristocrats – Three
rows of box seats
circling the stage
WHY DID THEATRE END UP
WHERE IT DID?
 Theater evolved during this time due to the amount of time
spent trying to make it better. Also the Queen’s love for it
influenced the rising of playwrights and theatre for her. After it
was considers a catharsis to most people in the lower caste.
 The performances were created to express the Queen,
Nobel's, Courts, Hero's, Tragedies, that people loves and
found a way to know what was happening.
WHY - CONTINUED
 Costumes were created this way because every color represented a
different feeling, character, scene, and idea that was to be set across.
Theatre was used as a fashion show to the lower class because they
normally don’t get to see these types of clothing.
 Theatre like Elizabethan theatre wasn’t seen for awhile after this era
due to the new king’s reign and his shut down of the theatres. After they
reopened, the spark had gone and people had moved on.
 Theatre evolved from the Queen’s love and the Renaissance and
the performance evolved from competition.
WORKS CITED
 Alchin, Linda. Globe Theatre Special Effects. SiteSeen Ltd, June
2014. 27 August, 2014. <www. bargstage.org>
 Alchin, Linda. Elizabethan Actors. Siteseen Ltd, 2014. 27 August,
2014. <www.elizabethan-era.org>
 <www.google.com>
 Hogman, Charlotte. Elizabethan Drama. Immediate Media Company,
2011. 27 August, 2014. <www.historyextra.com>
 Trumbull, Eric. W. Trumbull, Eric. Dr. The Elizabethan Theatre. Eric
W. Trumbull, 2007. 27 August, 2014. <novaonline.nvcc.edu>
WORKS CITED CONTINUED
 Elizabethan Theatre. National Endowment for the Arts and Arts
Midwest. 27 August, 2014.
<www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org>
 (No Name). Queen Elizabeth I Elizabethan Literature. SparkNotes
LLC, 2014. 27 August, 2014. <www.sparknotes.com>
 Brown, Starla and Nelson, Chequita. Costumes and Sets in
Shakespeare's Theatre. (No Publisher Seen), (No Date). 27
August, 2014. <www2.springfeild.k12.il.us>
 www.william-shakespeare.info ( No information given)
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWdKmOeUmXg> – Over Set
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