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In 1790, Edmund Malone wrote the first historical account of Shakespeare's works. Since that time important documents have been discovered that have brought new light to the study of the history of Shakespeare's Theater. Although opposing interpretations have resulted in many controversies, the basic facts included in this article have with stood the test of time.
It began in 1576 when James Burbage, a carpenter turned actor, rented a plot of land north of London, near Bishopsgate. On this land Burbage built a wooden building that was the first permanent London playhouse and called it "The Theater". For twenty years the Theater was in constant use. Shakespeare performed in the Theater and many of his plays were enacted here establishing the great tradition of the Elizabethan drama.
In 1599 the materials of the building were moved to the south bank of the Thames River and the Theater was rebuilt, becoming the Globe. At this time William Shakespeare became a partner in the Globe and stage presentations flourished until his death in 1616. His works were divided into four periods with the first being questionable of his authorship. During this period Shakespeare was credited for writing such works as The Taming of The Shrew and King John. The second period included most of his best comedies and chronicle plays such as Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In the third period he produced his greatest tragedies and lighter comedies including King Lear, Othello and Macbeth. During the fourth period he was credited with writing such works as The Tempest and The Winter's Tale. Shakespeare's plays proved him to be one of the greatest geniuses of all time with his perfection of the blank-verse and exquisite development of the Renaissance tragedy.
In 1642 the Puritan Revolution temporarily ended the careers of the immediate successors of the Globe. When the theater reopened Drury Lane and Covent Garden, the parents of modern day theaters in England and America, found themselves in charge at the beginning of the Restoration.