Category Archives: Seventeenth Century

Today in Theatre History: THE ENGLISH PLAYHOUSE RESTORED; OR, “TENNIS ANYONE?”–November 8, 1660

It was on this day in theatre history–November 8, 1660–that the first major professional playhouse in London opened after the restoration of Charles II as King of England.  During the Puritan Interregnum, of course, commercial theatre was banned.  But in … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: THE EARL OF OXFORD “UNDEAD”; OR, THE EARLIEST RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE TEMPEST–November 1, 1611

Today in theatre history–November 1, 1611–records the earliest known performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  It was staged at Whitehall Palace before James I and the royal court as part of the annual Hallowmas celebrations.  All Saints Day (or All Hallows … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: THEATRES CLOSE, THEATRES REOPEN; DOUR PURITANS VERSUS HAPPY STRIKERS, 277 YEARS APART–September 6

It was on this day in theatre history — September 6 — that theatre experienced both a major closing and a major reopening, some 277 years apart. The major closing was the banning of theatre at the start of the … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: HOW A CARELESS BAKER CHANGED ENGLISH THEATRE FOREVER–September 2, 1666

On this day–September 2–in 1666 a London baker named Thomas Farriner changed English theatre forever.  And he did so in a most unlikely way–by being the source of the Great London Fire of 1666.  Today, poor ol’ Mr. Farriner gets … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: AMERICAN THEATRE’S FIRST REALLY BAD REVIEW–August 27, 1665

Today marks a very sad day in American theatre history–a very sad day indeed–the earliest documented example of a poor review.  Yup.  A play was presented on this day–August 27–in 1665 at Fowkes Tavern in Accomack County on the eastern … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: THE GREAT TURNIP CONTROVERSY; Or, SHAKESPEARE & JONSON REGISTER THEIR PLAYS–August 4, 1600

On this day in theatre history–August 4, 1600–three plays by William Shakespeare (Much Ago About Nothing, Henry V and As You Like It,  and one by Ben Jonson (Every Man in His Humour) were officially entered into the Stationers’ Registry.  What did this … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: HOW CGI MIGHT HAVE SAVED SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE THEATRE–June 29, 1613.

On this day back in 1613, during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, a prop cannon was fired to announce the arrival of the king during one of the scenes.  Unfortunately, an overzealous stagehand had used a bit too much … Continue reading

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