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Theatre History II notes - English Restoration

by: Sarah Notetaker

Theatre History II notes - English Restoration THA 307

Marketplace > West Chester University of Pennsylvania > Theatre > THA 307 > Theatre History II notes English Restoration
Sarah Notetaker
GPA 3.7

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About this Document

These notes cover the first section of the English restoration
History of Theatre/Drama II
Dr. Harvey Rovine
Class Notes
theatre, history, restoration, england
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Notetaker on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THA 307 at West Chester University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Harvey Rovine in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see History of Theatre/Drama II in Theatre at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
Theatre History II – Restoration  Restoration: The act of bringing back something that was existing before  From class POV: once something we had that is no longer the same and we want to get it back to that original state  English civil war/civil disturbance (1642-1660 = The Commonwealth period) o 1600s – large political strife o England ruled without monarch (only time in history) o 2 sides  Keep monarchy  Anti-monarchy o Puritans against theatre  Oliver Cromwell – leader  Believed it was a waste of time, people should be spending their time doing religious acts  Assumed prostitution was taking place in the audience  When they took charger, they destroyed theaters  However, they did allow music  Underground efforts existed to continue to produce theatre  Mainly old plays (shortened because they were on the lookout for authorities o Drolls: shortened versions of old plays  Example: the play within A Midsummer Night’s Dream  Long enough to stand alone, short enough to perform fast  Commonwealth era ends when Oliver Cromwell dies o Son takes over, but he was completely different from his father and didn’t care o England decided they needed a King o Charles II was in France waiting for civil disturbance to die down, asked to come back to rule England  Restoration – monarchy restored in England o What got restored in terms of the theatre?  Theatrical activity but not exactly what they previously had  None of the physical theaters were rebuilt  French theatre (Continental) influence  Proscenium arch and changeable scenery  Women on stage  Responsible for changing face of restoration theatre o William Davenant  Dukes Men  Hired young, up-and-coming actors o Thomas Killigrew  Kings Men  Hired older, experienced actors o Both friends of king o Dukes Men became more successful and eventually 2 companies merged together o Patent system  Must get patent and license to open a theater  Davenant and Killigrew received patents from Charles II to control all theatre in London  Davenant received his patent while Charles II was still in France  Lasted for centuries  Hard to compete  Cross-section of audience changed o Theatre geared to upper class  Shown in plays that were written during this time o Lower and middle class stopped going to see plays  Women on stage o Bound to happen when restoration occurred o Women might have been in drolls during Commonwealth period o Many kept diaries o Nell Gwynn  Mistress of Charles II  Endowed by parliament after Charles died  Most famous restoration actress (comedic) o Female playwrights  First time women made living by writing plays  Aphra Bhen  Bawdy plays  A lot changed during restoration in England o Theatre was brought back, but it wasn’t restored to how it was originally


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