[Shakespeare's Globe Center]

Shakespeare's Globe Center--USA:

Center for Globe Research

[North America, Southeast]

History of Globe reconstruction attempts

Part of a theatre historian's job is to reconstruct performance conditions for past historical eras in order to understand how theatre evolved to where it is today. The reasoning behind reconstructing Shakespeare's Globe is so we can get a better knowledge of Shakespeare's plays and their importance to literary and dramatic history. Shakespeare never intended for his plays to be published, writing them solely for performance. He had his troupe and his stage (the Globe being one of several where his plays were initially performed) in mind when he created them. Understanding the dynamics of an actual Elizabethan performance space is crucial to the understanding of the plays themselves.

[Forrest reconstruction, top view] Here is an example of one such theoretical reconstruction, done by G. Topham Forrest in an appendix to William Westmorland Brane's, The Site of the Globe Playhouse, Southwark, London: London City Council, 1921. His reconstruction was conjectural only, and was never built (nor meant to be built). Forrest meant the designs, based on a reconstruction project done in 1912, to serve as an approximation of the Globe to give scholars as well as directors an idea of how the performances might have been staged.

[Forrest reconstruction, side view]

The dimensions depicted here would result in a much smaller Globe than the discovered remains indicate.

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updated on: 15 May 1998