Biographies & Memoirs

Shakespeare's Theatre: A History

Shakespeare's Theatre: A History

Shakespeare’s Theatre: A History examines the theatre spaces used by William Shakespeare, and explores these spaces in relation to the social and political framework of the Elizabethan era. The text journeys from the performing spaces of the provincial inns, guild halls and houses of the gentry of the Bard’s early career, to the purpose-built outdoor playhouses of London, including the Globe, the Theatre, and the Curtain, and the royal courts of Elizabeth and James I. The author also discusses the players for whom Shakespeare wrote, and the positioning—or dispositioning—of audience members in relation to the stage.

Palamon and Arcite was Performed with the Queen Herself Present on the Stage

Chapter 1. The Early Years

Stratford and Staging Practices

Princely Pleasures at Kenilworth

Mystery Cycles and Trade Guilds

Competing Authorities

Straws in the Wind

A System of Protection and Control

Roads Not Taken

Chapter 2. Possible Beginnings

Shakespeare and the Queen’s Men’s Theory


Shakespeare and Alexander Hoghton’s Will

Strange’s Men

Chapter 3. Shakespeare on the Record and the Stages of 1594: Newington Butts, the Theatre, Greenwich Palace, and Gray’s Inn



Shakespeare in the Records

Four Playing Places

The Theatre



The Cross Keys Inn

Greenwich Palace

Gray’s Inn

Chapter 4. The Chamberlain’s / King’s Men and their Organization


Hired Men (and Women)

Hired Men as Actors








Chapter 5. A Stormy Passage, from the Theatre, via the Curtain, to the Globe

2 The Seven Deadly Sins

The Stories


“Those Playhouses … Shall be Plucked Down”

Chapter 6. “The Great Globe Itself”

The Galleries

Lords’ Rooms

Stage Directions

Playhouse of the Spoken Word

Robert Armin

The War of the Theatres

Chapter 7. A New Reign

A Royal Master

Little Eyases and The Malcontent

Chapter 8. The Blackfriars

“Your Master’s Worship House, here, in the Friars”

The New Repertoire

Descent Machinery

Jonson and Shakespeare in the New House


Chamberlain’s/King’s Men’s Plays 1594–1614, Other than by Shakespeare


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