theatre.JPGThe 'Theatre' was built in a similar style to the Roman Coliseum, but on a smaller scale. The Elizabethan Amphitheatre was designed to hold a capacity of up to 3000 people! Similar Amphitheatres were later built to house blood sports, such as bear beating at the 'Bear Garden' and Bull Beating at the 'Bull Ring'. In 1577, another open air Amphitheatre called The Curtain opens in Finsbury Fields in Shoreditch, London followed by the Rose in 1587.

Before there were any theatres in England, there were Wandering Minstrels. Wandering Minstrels where musicians and entertainers who traveled from town to town in search of work in festivals and celebrations. The wandering minstrels gained reputations as thieves and eventually all entertainers needed a license to move from town to town.

The Elizabethan theatres became popular when the purpose-built theatres were introduced. They were equivalent to the famous actors today. A single play would attract at least 3000 people. The actors were wealthy nobles and performed for the royals.
The Elizabethan theatre audiences attracted people from all classes – the upper class nobility and the lower class commoners.
Anyone could attend the theatre. The poor paid only one penny to stand to the right of the stage (and were called groundlings) and the rich got the better spots in the theatre.

Elizabethan actors were only males because until 1660 woman were not allowed to act. It was seen to be improper for a woman to play such a role. Therefore, young men were used to play the female roles. Some of the most famous of the Elizabethan actors were Edward Alleyn, Henry Condell, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage and John Hemmings.

Theatres were first established for entertainment and as a way for Play-writes to have their pieces shown to a mass audience. The Elizabethan theatres were first performed in courtyards, inns or taverns and were called Inn-yards. Around 500 people attended the Inn-yards. Soon theatres became very popular and this founded the birth of amphitheaters and indoor theatre’s.

The reputation of the actors was not good. They were thought of as rascals and tramps. Travelling Elizabethan Actors were considered such a threat that regulations were imposed and licenses were granted to the aristocracy for the maintenance of the actors. They were always asked for these credentials and treated with suspicion.

Actors were not trusted! Travelling Elizabethan Actors were considered such a threat that regulations were imposed and licenses were granted to the aristocracy for the maintenance of troupes of players! Actors would be asked for these credentials - they were treated with suspicion! Plays were regulated! Plays were subject to censorship - the content of plays was checked to ensure that they did not contain political or religious elements, which might threaten the state! Elizabethan plays were often bawdy and the audiences were rowdy!

References
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/history-of-the-elizabethan-theatre.htm
http://www.globe-theatre.org.uk/elizabethan-theatre.htm
http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-theaters.htm
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-actors.htm
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-actors.htm
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-actors.htm
http://www.writework.com/essay/elizabethan-theater-went-theater-shakeperean-times
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-actors.htm
http://elizabethan-era.uk/elizabethan-theatre-audiences.htm