Today we learned about English Renaissance Drama. A required reading for the class was the play “The Roaring Girl,” which is comedy with a twist of romance about a female cross dresser. Plenty of crude humor in this one, mostly for adults. To apply the reading to our class, we also discussed features of old theaters, which differ greatly from today’s. Not only were performance theaters outside city limits due to the law back then, they were outdoors for lighting purposes, and had multiple segregated seating sections. Some went to the theater for entertainment at a cheap price, those were the poor “groundlings” on the dirt floor of the theater at the lowest level. Others went to be seen, and they included the elite of the city.
We discussed some vocab terms used in the theater:
-thrust: a theater with the audience on three sides
-the hell: trap doors on the stage
-the heavens: rafters above the stage
-pavilion: part of the open roof that extends above the stage