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Shakespeare. The Elizabethan Era and Theater. Acting Companies and Theater Owners. Theaters had to be licensed . Acting companies had to be sponsored by a patron who rank was no lower than a baron.
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Shakespeare The Elizabethan Era and Theater
Acting Companies and Theater Owners • Theaters had to be licensed. • Acting companies had to be sponsored by a patron who rank was no lower than a baron. • Performances started at 2:00 to make the most of the daylight. (Remember, this is before electricity, spotlights, etc.)
The Theater Itself • Theaters held 1,500-3,000 people. • Sanitary conditions were poor and diseases could pass around in the theaters. • Theater was not popular with local officials and merchants because: • It took away from business • Employees would leave work to go see a play • Lots of pickpocketing and other crimes occurred during plays • Plague was spread through unsanitary conditions
The Theater Itself • The theater: • Was open air and the stage was usually bare • Actors usually tell us where they are and what time of day it is in their lines • The stage was a raised platform • Most action took place downstage
Stage Directions Upstage (away from audience) Stage Right Stage Left Downstage (near audience)
The Actors • Actors usually wore their own clothes unless they were portraying someone evil, royal, or female. • Women were not allowed to perform on the stage. Men would perform all the female parts. • Actors would have to learn many parts of a play; the company would perform up to three different plays in the same week. • Acting was not a well-respected profession during the English Renaissance.
The Closing of Theaters • The theater was popular until 1642. • The Puritans closed down all the theaters because they believed that playhouses were evil because they had nothing to do with God.