inn yards

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James Burbage (c. 1530—1597) actor



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The rectangular yards of inns, surrounded by galleries or balconies, were sometimes used for theatrical performances during the sixteenth century. A stage could be set up against one wall, and some inns were taken over entirely for this purpose. A City of London regulation of 1576 referred to ‘evil practices of incontinency in great inns having chambers and secret places adjoining to their open stages and galleries.’ This may have encouraged James Burbage to build the Theatre in 1576, but performances continued to be given in inns from time to time.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

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