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There are several areas of consideration with regard to the time of day when performances took place in Elizabethan theatre. Prior to the building of actual theater buildings, performances would take place in inn yard or open air amphitheaters. Some performances would go on the entire day, but most sources say shorter performances would start around 3:00p.m. when there was optimal sunlight for the performances. These outside performances were ruled by weather and sunlight so time was of an essence. However, many times the inn yards were turned into more permanent theater, and once the performance was moved indoors, time was not as critical.
The time and location of performances were also dictated by such things as public health and public morality. Government restrictions and sanctions also affected the time and place of public theater performances. I was unable to find eNotes information on Elizabethan theater performances, but I have provided a couple of links. It would be interesting to compare the more current information from the eNotes link with those directly related to Elizabethan theater. There are some interesting similarities.
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