Differences between modern and elizabethan theatre!

Theatre has evolved in copious amounts since the Elizabethan era. Though there is huge contrast in the Elizabethan versus Modern theatre, modern theatre could not have evolved without it. The fact that modern play writs still reference Elizabethan tactics in production, proves that such an era was essential to modern day theatres evolution. Along such evolutions though, we have also left many traditions in the past. Such instances are evident in the following:

In Modern theatre, men and women are active in all theatre production. However back in Elizabethan era, women were not allowed such a career. Men were often looked at as superior over women, and therefore a career in such a public setting, was not open to a female cast. Men played male and female roles in all theatre productions, often with teenage boys playing the roles of women, due to their not fully developed stature and build.

Another difference between Elizabethan and Modern theatre is that Elizabethan theatre was much more audience interactive. The cheaper seats were right in front of the stage- usually where the poor stood. This created a very interactive theatre as audience members could reach out and touch actors, talk to them, and comment on the play. It is said that if the audience did not enjoy aspects of the play, that rotten food would be thrown. This is much different than modern day, where attending performing arts is that of a formal event.

In relation to the Elizabethan theatre being more interactive, Elizabethan stage was more open and accessible to the audience. Rather than in modern day, where stages are often risen above a sitting crowd, with enclosed walls that portray a frame like moving picture. The Elizabethan stage is close to the ground, the actors performing on a platform easily accessible by all audience members. Attendees in the Elizabethan era could stand on three sides of the platform.

Modern day theatre also has advanced technology compared to the Elizabethan era. In modern theatre, performances are enhanced by microphones, which enhance the audiences ability to hear and understand all the performers have to say. Stage lights also enhance the theatrical experience, as they can direct and redirect light for audience members to focus on certain aspects. The stage lights can also hide stage and prop changes. Music is also an enormous factor when it comes to performing. Although musicians were present, modern day theatre has access to sound effects, and any kind of music, at any given moment. The projection of sound from live musicians would also project more efficiently in modern theatre. The projection of sound would not be as effective as the theatres were open arenas, which allowed for background noise and a lack of amplifying of sound within the theatre.

Sources

http://www.bartleby.com/216/1017.html

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-theatre-facts.htm

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