Saturday, February 29, 2020
17th Century English Theater
This paper discusses playhouses and theaters in England in the 17th century. The paper shows that the English stage during the late 17th century was a time of rebuilding, and also a time of creation. There were many different ideas on what theater should be and it was very common for one person to have an idea, and as soon as it was known, opposing ideas were quickly published, followed by various defenses of the original idea. The paper discusses several people who were well known for their opinions from that time period, including Jeremy Collier, John Dryden, Alexander Pope, William Congreve and William Stubbs. When the Stuart Dynasty returned to the throne of England in 1660, the playhouses were reopened. In August, Charles II issued patents for two companies of players, and performances immediately began. However, theater had evolved a bit. The Royalty and the Nobility, as well as a few independent companies now owned theatrical troupes. Often the ones that had permanent theaters such as Convent Garden, Drury Lane and Dorset Garden had Noble backers to provide for the upkeep. Costumes were often second hand garments that the nobility no longer desired. Slowly the better-kept theaters became places to see and be seen. Often what was going on in the auditorium was just as much, or more interesting then what was on stage. The style of the play writing was of a lesser form then that of the Elizabethan plays. It frequently utilized stereotypes and stock characters.