The Shakespeare theatres served the best interest of the audiences of the 16th century. Modern-day theatres have various similarities that were adopted from the Shakespearean theatres and several differences.
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The Shakespeare Theatre was mainly in a platform format. They were designed to assume a circular shape. Many of today’s theatres are in motion picture format and some are in well-developed stages. Many modern interested audiences watch drama in moving form of pictures in a four-sided frame called a screen; others listen and watch actors in well-made theatres. Today’s theatres are arranged in such a way that the audience watches the ‘screen’ from one perspective, that is, it is one wall side. Modern-day theatres are staged where the actors are on a big platform viewed at a reasonable angle by the audience. There is soundtrack music used to evoke various moods and tones of the scenes, this is employed electronically with modern sound amplification gadgets. The stage is detailed with lighting, backdrops and voice enhancers. Contrary, the Shakespeare Theatre was arranged in such a way that the audiences could view the stage platform from all angles. Actors would improve their voice projections orally. The audience could move very close to the actors and confuse them. Many of the female characters of the playwrights were acted by men while in today’s theatre’s female roles are cast with female actors. In Shakespearean theatres, the audiences were able to surround the stage, that is, from a three side format. The stage had no curtains, thus scenes of acting had to proceed without any director’s cut. When an actor ‘dies’ on the stage, the body would be dragged off the stage. While today’s theatres have curtains that allow smooth transition of scenes. There was a room called ‘hell’ where actors could appear as ghosts and move back again. While today there are costumes and graphic adjustments with technological involvement to show such features in stage performances.
Performances in Shakespeare’s theatres usually started at around 14 hours and ran up to 17 hours where the sun could allow any further viewing of the stage actors. Today’s theatre schedules time randomly and not in a fixed manner like the Shakespearean theatre which prevented people from working. This was attributed to poor lighting of the stage; they depended on daylight sun for staging their pieces! While today there is no time limit. There are good lighting facilities and plays can even be watched at night.
Advertising promotions of the Shakespeare Theatres used different colored flags to rate their stage performances. Different genres of the pieces to be presented were tagged with different flags. For example, if there was a stage performance of a comedy piece, a white flag send the message. For history and tragedy, a red and black flag publicized the genres respectively. This stage hosted about 3000 audiences. The tickets were not very expensive and the cheapest tickets were sold on the main floor where it hosted about 700 people and the upper floor hosted about 2000 people. Hawkers, prostitutes and idlers were allowed to mingle and even bought foodstuffs at the actors. In today’s theatres, the genres of the stage performances are not publicized using flags. In modern theatres, use of media houses publicizes the different genres like science fiction, horror, tragedy, adventure, fantasy, action, and comedy pieces. The theatres can be small hosting 500 people or big where silver screen showing hosting over 4000 audiences. The tickets range from VIP and normal ones, payment can be done electrically. Hawkers, prostitutes and idlers are hardly allowed, there is no messing up of the actors. There is civilized applause in response to acting but no physical assault.
The main comparison between the Shakespeare’s theatres and today’s theatres is that the staged pieces in the Shakespeare’s theatres were acted before the play is written. This allowed changes from the actor. While in today’s theatres the actors memorize and act written words without changing anything. The costumes used were real and represented the real nature of the situation. Swordplay was acted real. While in today’s theatres imitate costumes and use technology in motion pictures is to represent the real image meant in the plays.