Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Shakespeare's Theater
• London Playhouses and Other Sites

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

London Playhouses and Other Sites



The actors of Shakespeare's time performed plays in many locations: the great halls of royal residences, the halls at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and at the Inns of Court, and the private houses of great lords and civic officials. Sometimes acting companies toured the provinces, where plays might be staged in churches (until around 1600) or guildhalls. London inns were important playing places until the 1590s.

London theaters began to be built just before Shakespeare wrote his first plays in the 1590s. They included outdoor, public playhouses and indoor, private theaters for much smaller audiences. The Theatre, usually considered the first London public playhouse, was built north of London in 1576 by James Burbage, the father of the famous actor Richard Burbage, who was in Shakespeare's company.

Other public playhouses included the Curtain and the Fortune, also north of London, and the Rose, the Swan, the Globe, and the Hope, all on the Bankside just across the Thames south of London. Playhouses were built outside the city of London because many civic officials were hostile to the performance of drama.

In 1598, Shakespeare's acting company was threatened by difficulties in renewing the lease on the land occupied by the Theatre, its first theater. The company dismantled the building and transported its timbers across the Thames to the Bankside, where the timbers were used to build a new theater, the Globe. The company began playing at the Globe in 1599. The Globe burned down in 1613, but was immediately rebuilt. Archaeologists have excavated portions of this second Globe and of the Rose.

Continue ... Inside the Theaters



Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare editions, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 2005 Folger Shakespeare Library
 
Claes Jansz. Visscher. London. ca. 1625 (Detail).



Folger Theatre

What's On: Folger Theatre

The Folger's Elizabethan Theatre



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623