The Tudor Theatres were built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The
most famous of the Tudor theatres was the Globe with its close
association with William Shakespeare. The theatres were built in a
similar style to the Coliseum with a capacity of between 1500 and
3000 people. The
very first theatre was built by James Burbage and was appropriately
named 'The Theatre'.
of 'The Theatre' was based on a design similar to a small Roman amphitheatre.
Tudor Theatres contained features of the existing blood sport rings,
such as the Bear Garden, with the addition of a fixed stage and a cobbled yard, as opposed to the
bare earth floor suited to animals.
Architecture of Tudor Theatres
Classic Greek and Roman
architecture was admired by the Tudors and sometimes great columns
framed the entrances of many great Tudor houses. Two great columns
were included in the architecture of the Tudor theatres which were
which were carefully
painted to resemble marble. The architecture of the Tudor theatres
was deliberately designed to reflect elements of Roman and Greek
architecture in order to elevate the shabby reputation of plays and
their actors to
the much admired Greek or Roman classical plays.
Interesting Facts and Information about
Interesting facts and
information about the architecture and structure of Tudor Theatres, such
as the Globe Theatre are as follows:
Size of theatres -
Up to 100 feet in diameter with an audience capacity of
The theatres were
octagonal or circular in shape
for theatres included timber, nails, stone (flint) and
Tudor theatres had
thatched roofs which were later tiled
The overall design
was of an open air arena, called the 'pit' or
the 'yard'. They had a raised stage at one end and was
surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with balconies
overlooking the back of the stage. The stage projected
halfway into the 'pit'
Toilet Facilities -
there were none. People relieved themselves outside and the
sewage was buried in pits or disposed of in the River Thames
feature Balconies & Galleries
Access to the
Balconies & Galleries was by two sets of stairs on either
side if the theater
The Stage Gallery
above the Stage Wall was called the ' Lord's rooms' which
were positioned immediately above the stage wall
additional balconies on the left and right of the 'lord's
rooms' which were called the 'Gentlemen's rooms
A raised stage - 3
to 5 feet high and supported by large pillars or trestles.
The size of the stage varied from 20 foot wide 15 foot deep
to 45 feet to 30 feet
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