A History of Theatrical Art, Vol. 3

Karl Mantzius


A History of Theatrical Art, Vol. 3 - Karl Mantzius

Excerpt from A History of Theatrical Art, Vol. 3: In Ancient and Modern Times

Before the Existence of Theatres - Influence of Italian stage technique - Inns - Attacks of the Puritans - James Burbage and the Erection of the First Theatre.

At the date of Shakespeare's birth (1564) no permanent theatre as yet existed in England.

But there had long existed a class of professional actors, descended partly from the mystery and miracle playing artisans of the Middle Ages, partly from the strolling players, equilibrists, jugglers and jesters.

Professional Italian actors (players of the Commedia dell' Arte), who in the sixteenth century spread their gay and varied art all over Europe, also supplied English players with that touch of professional technique, in which their somewhat vacillating and half amateurish art was still wanting.

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