Despite what you may have been taught in school, not all of William Shakespeare’s plays premiered at the Globe Theatre. The theater was built for Lord Chamberlain’s Men, true, but it wasn’t constructed until 1599 and burned down in 1613. Direct records indicate at least eight premiered there, but that’s hardly all of his plays, is it?
The BBC reports that archaeologists have discovered the remains of one of Shakespeare’s other performance venues. The Curtain Theatre opened in 1577 and housed Lord Chamberlain’s Men from 1597 until 1599. The performance space clearly meant a lot to the playwright as he referenced it in the prologue to Henry V. He describes the architecture and shape of the theater in order to draw the audience into the history they are about to watch.
Though archaeologists knew the general area of the Curtain Theatre, this discovery marks the first physical evidence of its exact location. The performance space may have been used for centuries. It might even have been the premiere location of Romeo & Juliet.
Now that archaeologists know the exactly location, they plan on continuing excavation efforts to see what else they can find. They also hope to one day open the remains for visits from tourists. I know I’d want to see it.
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