Theatre History

By iday
  • 1400

    Renaissance Expansions

    • Humanism – shifting away from purely religious ideas, towards a more individualistic approach. There is more secular thinking.
    • Artistic renewal as the arts start becoming popular again, the era is known for paintings, sculptures, theatre and opera. o Exploration of the “New world”, o Gunpowder was an invention in China and started to make its way over to Europe o Advances in astronomy, Galileo discovers the earth isn’t the center of the universe
  • 1485

    English Renaissance

    o Usually referred to as “Early modern England”
    o Began with Henry the VII in 1485, ends in 1642 when the Puritans take over England
    o Henry VII created the church of England, breaks with the catholic church
    o Elizabethan period
    o Queen Elizabeth 1st – reigned 1558-1603
    o English theatre is divided into three sections, Elizabethan, Jacobean ( King James I)Caroline (King Charles)
    o Theatres were banned in London, so a lot of people built theatres on the outsides of the city
  • 1558

    Thomas Kyd

    • Worked translating and transcribing before playwrighting
    • Set the standard for Revenge Plays
    o Most famous is Spanish Tragedy, influenced hamlet
  • 1564


    • First significant playwright in the Elizabethan era
    • Influenced Shakespeare
    o Verse and subject matter
  • 1564

    William Shakespeare

    Was highly influential, the most famous playwright of the era.
    - Shakespearian Theatre
    o The Lord Chamberlains Men
    o James Burbage
     Combined the idea of old amphitheaters and entrepreneurship, and taking inspiration from bear baiting rings
    o Shows rotated a lot faster through the year, because of the audience not being large numbers
    o Actors were given only their roles, not whole scripts
    o This era was the first time men could make a living wage just writing
  • 1572

    Ben Jonson

    • Best known for satirical comedies
    • Popularized dramatic comedies
  • 1579

    John Fletcher

    • Known for tragicomedies
    • Collaborated with shakes on Two Nobel Kingsman
  • 1580

    Thomas Middleton

    • Also known for his tragicomedies
    • Tragedies followed roman traditions, while comedies followed classical teachings
    • Collaborated with shakes on Timone of Athens
  • Francis Beumont

    • Known as the funniest dramatism in the Era
    • Collaborated with Fletcher
  • Taming of the Shrew

  • The Globe

    o The Globe theatre was initially built on rented land and called The Theatre, then when the landlord wanted to tear it down it was carried over and moved and renamed the Globe
    o The Globe
     Original that was moved burned down in 1613 when a canon hit the roof
     The globe was rebuilt but closed and was torn down in 1642 after the ban on theatre at the end of the renaissance
     The globe was rebuilt again in 1997
  • Theatrical Development

    • Theatrical Development o Italy- Commedia dell’arte, opera, proscenium stage (traditional stage), painted perspective scenery o France – Neoclassical rules for playwriting o Spain – Golden Age o England- acting companies and new theatre built