The Shakespearean theater in the 1500s was a lot different from the theater of today’s society. The old theater is considered an antithesis of the modern theater. The architecture was different and the internal style of the building not similar. For example, one of the oddest things about the theater is the fact that the audience would lean against the stage while standing – they were not seated!
The audience in the Shakespearean theater who were standing around the stage, and leaning against the stage, paid the lowest admission fee to see the play. The fee was somewhere in the area of one cent, unlike today, an individual will normally pay an average admission fee of $75 to sit next to or directly in front of the stage. This is definitely a sign of inflation of the times, and the use of modern technology in the theater unlike in the past.
One must wonder how an individual exited the crowd to attend to bodily functions, or maintained bodily space in the old theater; additionally, one must question whether or not an individual ever obtained his or her original position back directly in front of the stage. Unlike today, an individual is able to leave his seat, attend to bodily functions, and return to his original seat without any problems.
In addition, the original theater of the 1500 did not use a pit orchestra during the play. Normally, the pit orchestra would provide some form of separation between the stage and the audience. The modern theater of today has a pit orchestra. The orchestra is out of sight and normally will provide music to accompany the play in a variety of ways, such as, dramatic scenes, creepy scenes, love scenes, and the like. This was missing during the Shakespearean theater of the 1500s.
Next there were minimal props used during the performance. As such, the actors normally stood on their own; there were no separation of rooms with props and/or things of that nature. Today the modern theater has many props. The props are fake things which display some form of reality such as walls, food, etc. Props also provide special effects and are used to enhance the dramatic and visual effects of plays. The theater of today with the better props and spectacle will get the bigger audiences and the greater profit at the box office.
Continuing, there were no curtain used in the 1500s theaters and there were no separation of the dramatization parts of the plays. Furthermore, there was no escapist’s route for actors, which would allow one to analyze the dramatics of the play.
Finally the plays back then would normally address a broad section of the public and would normally run in cycles, known as cycle plays. Besides, the audience would normally come to the theater to hear the play instead of seeing the play. Unlike today, individuals come to the theater to see the play.