History of Elizabethan London Theaters - including the Globe Theatre
The first proper theater as we know it was called the Theatre, built at Shoreditch, London in 1576 and the owner was James Burbage. James Burbage had obtained a 21-year lease with permission to build the first playhouse, aptly named ' The Theatre. ' Before this time plays were performed in the courtyard of inns or inn-yards, or sometimes, in the houses of noblemen or in extreme circumstances on open ground. After the Theatre, further open air playhouses (theaters) opened in the London area, including the Rose Theatre (1587), and the Hope Theatre (1613). The most famous Elizabethan playhouse (theater) was the Globe Theatre (1599) built by the company in which Shakespeare had a stake-- now often referred to as the Shakespearean Globe.
Link to the full text and information source: William Shakespeare info. website - http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-globe-theatre.htm
Image source: Circulating Collection, Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia. Subject: Theatres - England Globe
Opposite the City Of London, where the Swan, Hope, Bull Ring and Globe Theatre had also been situated. The Bear Garden was originally built as a blood sport arena. Bear and Bull baiting were major spectator sports and there were several purpose-built arenas in this area specifically designed to house these events. Bear baiting had been introduced to England during the Medieval period of the 1200s-- nearly every town in Elizabethan England boasted a Bull and Bear baiting ring.
Link to full text and information source: Eilizabethean Era Website, Authored by Linda Alchin -http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/bear-garden.htm
Image source: Image source - Circulating Collection, Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia. Subject: Theatres - England
Original image source: Section of a View of London by Merian, The Folger Shakespeare Library , c1935
Globe Theatre Interior - the Stage
The Dimensions of the Globe stage cannot be specified. Stage dimensions of Elizabethan theaters varied from 20 feet wide, 15 feet deep to 45 feet wide to 30 feet deep. The stage was raised three to five feet and supported by large pillars. The floor of the Stage was made of wood and sometimes covered with rushes. Trap doors in the stage floor would enable some special effects e.g. smoke. At the rear of the Stage there was a roofed house-like structure supported by two large columns (pillars).
Link to full text and information source: Eilizabethean Era Website, Authored by Linda Alchin - http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/globe-theatre-interior.htm
Image source - Circulating Collection, Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia. Subject: Theatres - England.
Original image source: A reconstruction of the stage of teh Globe Playhouse, From Joseph Quincy Adams , A life of William Shakespeare,1923, The Folger Shakespeare Library , c1935
The project to rebuild Shakespeare’s Globe was initiated by the American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker after his first visit to London in 1949. Twenty-one years later he founded what was to become the Shakespeare Globe Trust, dedicated to the reconstruction of the theatre and the creation of an education centre and permanent exhibition. After 23 years spent tirelessly fundraising, advancing research into the appearance of the original Globe and planning the reconstruction with the Trust’s architect Theo Crosby, Sam Wanamaker died in 1993, the site having been secured, the exhibition undercroft structurally complete and a few timber bays of the theatre in place. Three and a half years later the theatre was completed.
Link to the full article, the image and information source: Shakepeare's Globe Trust, London- http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/about-us/history-of-the-globe/rebuilding-the-globe
The Virtual Tours were filmed during the run of The Merchant of Venice in 2007. There is not always a bridge in the yard!
The virtual tour requires the free Quicktime plugin for your browser - download it here. It's worth it!
The Virtual Tours were shot by, and provided courtesy of, Wright George.
Link to the Virtual Tour: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/about-us/virtual-tour
Book description: "This handsomely illustrated book brings together a panel of experts to describe and comment on the design and building of the reconstruction of the Globe theatre in London. ... The book is well-planned and coherent in design. The contributors write with conviction and enthusiasm to make the reader aware of the extraordinary dedication of those who planned and researched for many years under the leadership of Sam Wanamaker and Theo Crosby the architect. ... The book is in its way a tribute to human dedication and skill, and the rebuilding of the Globe is a considerable achievement. " -- from the Theatre Notebook
Item description - "The first recorded Elizabethan production on the newly rebuilt Globe stage in London"--Container.