Theatre in the sixteenth century was extremely different from theatre today.
For one thing, there was no curtain like there is today. This made it more
difficult to perform and sometimes playwrights had to add special scenes to
clear everyone from the stage to signify the ending of a scene or act and the
beginning of a new one. Also, the place on the main floor right in front of the
stage (called the pit but now called the orchestra) was the place where the poor
people stood to watch the show and it was the worst place to watch from.
However, in modern theatres, orchestra seats are the most expensive and the best
seats. Another big difference was that there were very few props whereas today
there are many. The kind of props one would"ve found may have included a
curtained area that could"ve been used as an inside room, etc., a balcony that
could"ve been used as a window or as the deck of a ship, and a trap door that
could've provided a way for ghosts and such to come onto the stage. These may
seem like very simple and primitive things and when compared to what theatres
have today, but in Elizabethan times those simple things helped for many of the
elements in the plays. One other big difference was that there were no female
actors like there are today, therefore a woman"s part had to be played by a
young man who still had a high voice. Theatres have come a long way since the
sixteenth century and there are many more differences between the theatres of
the sixteenth century and the present day theatres.