The Globe Theatre Opens in London (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: The opening of the rebuilt Globe Theatre marked the first time that a modern audience was able to watch a Shakespeare play under the conditions in which the play was first performed.
Summary of Event
The opening of the rebuilt Globe Theatre on the South Bank of the Thames River, opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, marked the fulfillment of a centuries-old dream and a long practical campaign that began in the 1950’s. The original Globe, which was burned to the ground in 1613, was central to the work of William Shakespeare. Many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays were written for and first performed at the Globe.
The rebuilt Globe officially opened on May 22, 1997, as construction workers hurried to get the job finished. The following week, on May 27, the theater opened its doors to the public for the first preview of Shakespeare’s Henry V. Tickets for the “groundlings” (the five hundred spectators who stand in front of the stage) were sold for a penny, as in Shakespeare’s day, and there were long lines of people waiting for returns. Mark Rylance, actor and artistic director of the Globe, concluded the evening with an homage to the late Sam Wanamaker, the “founding father” of the project. The Winter’s Tale opened on May 28.
The gala opening came on June 12. It was a special performance entitled “Triumphes and Mirth” and was graced by the presence...
(The entire section is 2319 words.)
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