Facts About Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

by Melissa McCormick
William Shakespeare was a famous English playwright and poet.

William Shakespeare was a famous English playwright and poet.

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William Shakespeare, one of the most famous playwrights in history, produced and performed in plays at his Globe Theatre in London in the early 1600s. While the original theater no longer stands, a modern Shakespeare's Globe Theatre now serves as an open-air stage and educational center for people to enjoy the writer's work. Millions of people from all over the world visit the iconic building referred to as a globe, but it is not completely circular in structure.


Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is just off the Thames River in the Bankside district of London. Bankside is the city's cultural district and thus the appropriate place to house the work of William Shakespeare, considered by many to be the most accomplished English writer of all times. Thousands of tourists visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre daily to view exhibitions, take educational courses and watch stage performances.


The new Shakespeare's Globe Theatre opened in 1997, modeled after his original theater built in 1599. The original burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII. The new theater stands just a few hundred yards from the site of the old one. The rebuilding of the theater was the idea of American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker in 1949 when he founded Shakespeare Globe Trust. The structure took more than 23 years to plan as designers tries to replicate the original structure as much as possible. Wanamaker died three years before the new theater's completion.


More than 350,000 people view shows at the theater annually during the theater season, from April to October. Professional actors perform a variety of Shakespeare's plays as well as those from other writers. Some notable performances include "Hamlet," "All's Well That Ends Well," "As You Like It," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Anne Boleyn. "

The Indoor Jacobean Theatre

Shakespeare Globe Trust is building the Indoor Jacobean Theatre as an addition to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, as of 2011. The Globe Theatre is an open-air venue, whereas the Indoor Jacobean, with a 2013 completion date, is fully enclosed. Shakespeare intended for some of his plays to have open-air performances. He wrote others were for indoor stages. The Indoor Jacobean Theatre was part of Wanamaker's plans.

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