In Shakespeare’s time
there were no female actors. This was because acting was not considered an honourable job, so no woman would be seen doing
such a thing. The role of women had to be played by young boys who had not gone through puberty. This was because they had
higher voices. Shakespeare himself even acted in some of his own plays, but because it was such a long time ago, it is not
known which ones.
The plays of this period of
time were very last minute. Some actors received their lines just before the play. Some even got them as they were performing.
They used a technique called “cue acting”. This was when someone sat behind the curtains and whispered the lines
to the actors. This then led to a technique called “que scripting”. This was where the actors got only their lines,
instead of the entire play. Most of this was because there was very little time for the actors to practice their lines before
giving the play.
The Globe Theatre attracted many different types of audiences. It brought the young and old, male and female. This was mainly because
of the variety of plays that were performed there. At times some of the audience members would ‘boo’ at the bad
characters and cheer for the good ones.
The spectators had a range
of seating options available. They could choose to pay the cheapest ticket and be a “groundling”. Groundlings
stood the entire duration of the play. They crowded around the stage. The next cheapest option was to pay a bit extra and
sit in the galleries. If they wanted, they could have paid an extra penny to get a cushion to sit on. The most expensive choice
was to sit on a chair on the actual stage. This may have been the most expensive, but being right up close to the action made
it all worth it.
At The Globe Theatre, it is believed that two plays were done every day, and that both of them were done in the afternoon. They were not done
earlier because the sun was too bright. It was not done at night because there was no artificial lighting. This is why the
plays were done during the afternoon.