Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

Globe Theatre Interior

Picture of the Globe Theatre

Picture of the Globe Theatre

Globe Theatre Interior

What was it like inside the theater? Where did the Nobility sit? Where did the Commoners sit? What were the facilities like? The entrance? The access to various parts of the theater? The design of the interior. The stage and the great Herculean columns. The galleries, the Pit and the Lord's Rooms.

The section covering Globe Theatre Interior includes the following subjects:

  • The Galleries
  • The Entrance
  • Stairs and Access
  • The Stage
  • The Pit, the Yard, the Galleries
  • The Heavens, the Frons Scenae, Lord's rooms, Gentlemen's rooms, Tiring House and the Hut

Globe Theatre Interior - the Pit or Yard
The Pit, or yard, was the area located around the stage. There was no seating - the cheapest part of the Globe Theater and the audience had to stand. The stage structure projected halfway into the ' yard ' where the commoners (groundlings) paid 1 penny to stand to watch the play. They would have crowded around the 3 sides of the stage structure. They were referred to as Groundlings and were Elizabethan Commoners who paid 1 penny admission to stand to watch the play. During the height of the summer the groundlings were also referred to as ' stinkards ' for obvious reasons.

Globe Theatre Interior - the Galleries
Around the Globe theater were three tiers of roofed galleries. The galleries had rows of wooden seats, were accessed from a back coridor and had a roof offering shelter from inclement weather.

Globe Theatre Interior - the Stairs and Access
There was usually one main entrance. Some later theatres had external staircases in their structure to access the galleries

Globe Theatre Interior - the Stage
The Dimensions  of the Globe stage cannot be specified. Stage dimensions of Elizabethan theaters varied from 20 foot wide 15 foot deep to 45 feet to 30 feet . The stage was raised - 3 to 5 feet and supported by large pillars. The floor of the Stage was made of wood and sometimes covered with rushes. Trap doors in the stage floor would enable some special effects e.g. smoke. At the rear of the Stage there was a roofed house-like structure supported by two large columns (pillars)

Globe Theatre Interior - the Heavens
The pillars supported a roof called the ' Heavens '. The ' Heavens ' served to create an area hidden from the audience. This area provided a place for actors to hide. A selection of ropes & rigging would allow for special effects, such as flying or dramatic entries

Globe Theatre Interior - the Frons Scenae
The stage wall was called the ' Frons Scenae ' taken from Latin. It was situated behind the pillars. The ' Frons Scenae '  was taken from the name given by Imperial Rome to the stage walls of their amphitheatres. There was a doorway to the left and right and a curtained central doorway from which the actors made their entrances. Above the door area was the highly decorative screen.

Globe Theatre Interior - the Lords Rooms
The Stage Gallery above the Stage Wall was called the ' Lord's rooms ' used by the rich members of the audience, the Upper Classes and the Nobility. Immediately above the stage wall was the stage gallery which was used by actors (Juliet's balcony). 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 5 pence & cushioned seats were provided for these elite members of the audience.

Globe Theatre Interior - the Gentlemen's rooms
There were additional balconies on the left and right of the ' lord's rooms ' which were called the ' Gentlemen's rooms '. These seats were for rich patrons of the Globe theater and the cost was 4 pence for which cushioned seats were provided.

Globe Theatre Interior - the Tiring House and the Hut
The stage wall structure contained at least two doors which lead to a leading to small structure, back stage, called the ' Tiring House '. The stage wall was covered by a curtain. The actors used this area to change their attire - thus it was called the 'Tiring House'. The ' Hut ' Above the ' Tiring House ' was a small house-like structure called the 'hut' complete with roof. The Hut was used as a covered storage space for the acting troupe.

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