Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Elizabethan Theatre

Elizabethan Theatre evolved during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. This era of theatre helped to set the bar for play productions worldwide. Not only was this era a stepping stone that developed theatre but it aided in the augmentation of one of the world’s greatest playwrights, William Shakespeare. This pioneering era had many diverse elements that supported the theatrical experience. The first theatre was erected in 1576, called The Theatre. Shakespeare is believed to have been twelve at the time of its assembly. This theatre was built by James Burbage, who was an actor. According to Gabriel Egan (2005)in Plathonism and Bathos in Shakespeare and Other Early Modern Drama , the theatre was polygonal wooden building that cost approximately seven hundred pounds to construct. The open space at the front of the stage was standing room for spectators who paid "penny", whilst the stands were priced higher. The atmosphere of such a production was one where the crowd was very interactive with the characters on stage, especially theose who paid "penny", which is contrary to the astmosphere of modern day theatre. The characters did not have the perks of modern day technology, such as mikes and special effects lighting/ Plays were often performed in daylight as music and songs conveyed the atmosphere of each scene. Female actors were not present as they are presently, boys played the role of women in Elizabethan time.
In 1597, The Theatre closed. Six months later, Egan states that Richard Burbadge, son of James Burbage, rebuilt the theatre abd named it The Globe. This new theatre drew audiences of 2,500 to 3,000. In the Summer of 1599, the theatre opened with the production of Henry V by William Shakespeare. According to Andrew Gurr (1991) in The Shakespeare Stage 1574-1642 , in 1613, the Globe Theatre was down due to a dramatic Henry VIII performance that ended tragically. Mulryne (1997) in Shakespeare's Globe Rebuilt stated
"Like all the other theatres in London, the Globe was closed down by the Puritans in 1642. It was pulled down in 1644, or slightly later—the commonly cited document dating the act to 15 April 1644 has been identified as a probable forgery—to make room for tenements."
This was not the definite end of the Globe Theatre entertainment however, Sam Wanamaker, rebuilt a new Globe Theatre on the 8th of June, 19997 with teh production of Henry V which helped to rekinkdle the essence of theatre. Today, Shakespeare plays , among others are constantly performed and revised by many although they have intilized modern casualties as well. The addition of stage props, costumes, lighting and even women have dramatically enhanced the quality of modern day theatre and refined this artform. The Elizabethan era of theatre wa sonly a foundation to the flowering world of theatre that is present. It has increased the quality without detering the dignity of these legendary plays that were written so well. This era of creative reformation has continously impacted generations gone and generations to come.

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