History Of Theater Stages Essay

1504 words - 6 pages

Throughout the history of theaters and stages, many things have changed. However, the structures of the theatre are similar. The components from the early stages are still used today. A theatre consists of stages, actors and crew and lighting.
When theaters first stated they weren’t very popular. Authoritarians didn’t approve of them; in 1574 having theaters in the city limits were banned. Many people said that it was bad for the youth and lead to prostitution. Queen Elizabeth I loved the art of theater and enjoyed watching performances. She helped theaters become popular in the cities and with the cities citizens. Shakespeare’s Theater was full of life and was different from today. During the plays people wouldn’t just sit and watch; people would talk, eat, and drink. They cheered at the parts they liked and booed at the parts they didn’t like. The audience would even sometimes throw objects at the actors.
The basic type of stage is a “Proscenium” stage, meaning it is a picture frame that outlines stage right and stage left. When determining stage right from stage left from the audience view, it is opposite because it is determined by the actors perspective. When different scenes are on stage, there are three sides to place them on, except the side facing the audience. Back stage is the area where the audience can’t see (the part all behind the curtains). When an actor moves down stage, they move towards the audience and up-stage is away from the audience. On any stage there is the center line (CL) which is the center of the stage. There is also the plaster live (PL) which runs from the back of the Proscenium to the front where the (CL) and the (PL) intersect. It is referred to as the “zero-zero” line. The front of house is where the audience is seated. The apron; which is right in front of the stage, is often called the Thrust.
In theaters there are different types of stages. One type of stage is a Thrust stage. A Thrust stage surrounds the audience on three sides and the fourth side serves as a background. The stage is often set up as a square or as a rectangle. The Globe theatre was set up as a Thrust theatre (a popular theater that was built in Shakespeare’s time). It was built by a theatrical company that Shakespeare belonged to. The Globe Theater was the most popular theater of all the theaters in the Elizabethan Era, it was not located inside of the city, it was located by the river on the outside of the city limits.
Another type of stage is an End stage. An End stage goes wall to wall like a thrust stage, but is different. Back stage is behind the scenery and there is no real wing space to the sides of the theatre. An example of an end stage would be a music hall. Some stages were shaped in a rectangular platform surrounded by three story gallery seating. The wealthier would purchase these so they could sit with more comfort and see better. The building would have been round or octagonal in shape. Shakespeare often referred to...

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