• Drama is defined as “action” and comes from
• Drama is intended to be performed live, on a
stage in front of an audience.
• Early Greek drama was performed outdoors
while Shakespearean drama was performed
both inside of theaters and outdoors.
• The plays during this time were performed by
male actors. Women were not allowed to
“debase” themselves in such a way as to become
• There were very few props and no curtain like
we have in today’s modern theater.
• The earliest of Shakespeare’s troupes was named
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and they
performed in castles, churches and in the
• The players eventually moved to an indoor
theater known as “The Theater”.
• Some time during 1599, the actors began
performing in the famous Globe Theater. (See
picture on the next page.) This was built from the
wood of the old Theater, because the owner of
the land did not like theater and raised the price
of the rent. The troupe did not agree to the new
price and took down the theater and rebuilt it,
naming it the Globe.
The Lease of the ' Theatre ' expires
The 21 year lease for the ground upon which The Theatre had been built
was due to expire at the end of 1597. The ground landlord of The Theater
was called Giles Allen. A grasping man, he disapproved of theatrical
productions, the theatre in general, and raised the price of the lease of
The Theatre to an exorbitant level. The troupe failed to agree new terms
and when the lease of The Theatre finally expired the Chamberlain's men
were forced to move to The Curtain Theater , another public playing house
near The Theatre. All attempts to negotiate the new tenancy and lease
agreement of The Theatre failed and Giles Allen planned to pull down the
Theatre and capitalise on the building materials. But Burbage found a
clause in their former lease allowing them to dismantle the Theatre
building. The players decided to pull down The Theatre and transport the
timber to a new Theater site on Bankside in Southwark. The work of
demolishing the Theatre and transporting the timber across the River
Thames was noisily undertaken by the Acting Troupe themselves. Giles
Allen was absolutely furious. A new theatre would be built learning from
both the mistakes and successes of the original ' Theatre '. The new
theater was called The Globe. (The Old Globe)
• The theater was in use until 1613, when a
tragic accident ended its usefulness. One of
the props, a cannon, was loaded with
gunpowder and because it was not
maintained, it fell, causing it to go off and set
the thatched roof on fire. The Globe burnt to
the ground. (The Old Globe)
• The Globe was rebuilt, but torn down in 1644.
• In both 1572 and 1642, theater in England was
banned. The first time it was because of the
Church’s influence. They believed that theater
was no good.
• In 1642, it was also because of religion, but
this time it was because of the Puritans, a
strict religious sect dedicated to holiness and
reforming the Catholic Church.
• From 1642 until 1660, when King Charles II is
restored to his throne, there was no theater in
England. All theaters were ordered to be torn
down. At the death of Lord Cromwell,
however, the Puritan hold on England lost its
• Thank you King Charles II for allowing theater
to resume and the people to be entertained!
King Charles II
Wright, John Michael . "King Charles II in
Coronation Robes." 1660. JPG file.
• "The OLD GLOBE THEATER History." WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Mar.
theatre.htm Format: web
Aspects of the original Globe
• If you look closely, you will see that the Globe
had no roof, so performances were still “out
• Later on, the troupe performed indoors at a
theater named “The Blackfriar’s”, but they
continued to perform at the Globe.