In May 1997, the new Globe Theatre -- a replica of the Elizabethan original, thatched roof and all -- staged its first slate of plays (Henry V and A Winter's Tale) yards away from the site of the 16th-century theater where the Bard originally staged his work.
Productions vary in style and setting; not all are performed in Elizabethan costume. In keeping with the historic setting, no lighting is focused just on the stage, but floodlighting is used during evening performances to replicate daylight in the theater -- Elizabethan performances took place in the afternoon. Theatergoers sit on wooden benches of yore -- in thatch-roofed galleries, no less -- but these days you can rent a cushion to make yourself more comfortable. About 500 "groundlings" can stand in the uncovered yard around the stage, just as they did when the Bard was here.
From May to September, the company intends to hold performances Tuesday to Saturday at 2 and 7pm. There will be a limited winter schedule. In any season, the schedule may be affected by weather because this is an outdoor theater. Performances last 2 1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the play.
- © Frommer's 2013
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