Class: Grade 8 English
Unit: Introduction to Shakespearean Theatre
- Students will be able to describe the theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were performed.
- Students will use information drawn from a variety of sources to support their thinking about a topic.
**NOTE: THIS ACTIVITY HAS BEEN MODIFIED IN ORDER TO BETTER FIT THE OBJECTIVES OF MY PORTFOLIO ASSIGNMENT**
Where did Shakespeare’s plays get performed?
As we have been looking at, plays in Elizabethan time were very popular (if a little risque!). But what did “going to the theatre” look like? What was the Elizabethan theatre like, and where did Shakespeare perform his plays? This lesson hopes to answer those questions.
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre is a famous structure which William Shakespeare and his theatre company – the Lord Chamberlain’s Men – began construction on in 1598. From 1599 on, many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed until 1613 when it burnt down as its thatch roof was accidentally set alight by a cannon during a performance of Henry VIII.
What did the Globe Theatre Look Like?
The old Theatre was a 20-sided structure, as near to a circle as Elizabethan carpentry could make it. It stood more than 30 feet (9 metres) high, with three levels of seating in its galleries. Audience access was either through two narrow passageways under the galleries into the standing room of the yard around the stage or up two external stair towers into the rear of the galleries. Five of the 20 bays of the galleries were cut off by the frons scenae, or tiring-house wall, behind which the actors kept their store of props, costumes, and playbooks and prepared themselves for their performances. The stage was a 5-foot- (1.5-metre-) high platform protruding from the tiring-house into the middle of the yard. Two posts upheld a cover over the stage that protected the players and their expensive costumes from rain. The audience standing in the yard had no cover, though when it rained they could pay more and take shelter in the lowest gallery.
The Exterior of the Theatre:
The Interior of the Theatre:
Original image found on Wikicommons.
Students should use the information provided in the graphics and videos above to create their own representation of the Globe Theatre. This can be a drawing, a model or an oral or written description, but students should include at least five different pieces of information about the Globe theatre that they drew from the resources provided.
Have students create their own infographic with at least five different pieces of information drawn from the resources provided that shows what they have learned about Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Great job, Paul! Your infographic on Shakespeare’s Theatre effectively communicates important information about the Elizabethan theatre and its role in Shakespearean plays. The use of clear visuals and concise text makes it easy for readers to understand and retain the information.
I particularly appreciate the inclusion of specific details about the theatre’s design and the actors’ roles in the performance. It shows that you have a deep understanding of the subject matter and have done thorough research.