The Globe Theatre

View of the inside of the Globe Theater

View of the inside of the Globe Theatre

In 1576, Richard Burbage’s Father, James, a leading member of a prominent troupe of players, the Earl of Leicester’s Men borrowed capital from his brother-in-law, John Brayne to build the first permanent playhouse. The playhouse was built at Shoreditch, London in 1576. Burbage had signed a 21-year lease for the playhouse. After The Theatre opened up, other playhouses started to arise – the Rose Theatre in 1587, The Globe Theatre in 1599, and the Hope Theatre in 1613. After the 21-year lease expired, the landlord of The Theatre, Giles Allen, forced everyone out. Giles Allen planned to pull down The Theatre and take advantage of the building materials. However, Burbage found a section in their former lease that allowed him to pull down The Theatre and transport the materials to a new theatre site, which was on Bankside in Southward. The new theatre was named The Globe.

The Globe was built by a carpenter, Peter Smith. It was the most magnificent theater that London had ever seen. Lord Chamberlain’s Men flew a flag featuring the figure of Hercules carrying a globe on his shoulders to announce the arrival of the new playhouse.

Layout of the Globe Theater

Layout of the Globe Theater

At the time, the Elizabethan general public – or often called the commoners – would pay one penny to stand in the “Pit” of the globe theatre. The gentry would pay and they would sit in the galleries, which included cushions for comfort. The Stage Gallery above the Stage Wall was called the “Lord’s rooms.” It was occupied by the rich members of the audience, the Upper Classes and the Nobility. Immediately above the stage wall is the stage gallery, which is used by the actors. The “Lord’s rooms” were considered the best seats in the “house” despite the poor view of the back of the actors. The cost was five pence & cushioned seats were provided for them. There were also an additional balconies on the left and right side of the “lord’s rooms.” It is called the “Gentlemen’s rooms”. These seats were for rich patrons of the Globe Theatre and the cost was four pence. The seats were cushioned. Also, in the theatre were pillars. The pillars supported a roof, which is called the “heavens.” The “heavens” served the purpose of creating an area hidden from the audience where the actors can hide while waiting for their scene. The stage wall structure contains at least two doors, which leads to a small structure back stage, called the “Tiring House.” The actors use this area to change. Moreover, above the “Tiring House” is a “hut.” The “Hut” is a small house-like structure completed with a roof. The Hut was used as a covered storage space for the acting troupe. The Globe Theatre went on to become the most famous Elizabethan playhouse theatre of their era. Today, there is a replica of The Globe located in London. It welcomes visitors from all over the world to take part in workshops, lectures, and staged readings. Moreover, it allows visitors to visit the exhibition, to tour The Globe theatre, and to watch productions, which ranges from original practices to world premières of new writing.

Tour of the The Globe Theatre:                         2 Short Scenes from Twelfth Night Acted out at The Globe in 2013:  Documentary on The Globe Theatre:        


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