Elizabethan Playhouses

A playhouse was a small private indoor hall used for acts open for the public. Playhouses were open for anyone who would pay but the capacity of the audience in a playhouse was up to 500 people. Playhouses were built around similar general plans, and despite differences, all public theatres were about three stories high and built around open spaces. The theatres were usually polygonal in plan to give a round effect for a better view, and three levels of tribunes made room for a lot of people. An upper level behind the stage could be used as a balcony as in Romeo and Juliet that sort of gave an opportunity for an actor to be elevated above the other actors.
The number of playhouses steadily increased since the opening of the first Elizabethan playhouse in 1576. Most famous of all were the Globe built in 1598, were great writers like Shakespeare and Burbage deferred their plays and obtained great glory and so did the Globe. Playhouses were usually built of timber, lath and plaster which made them vulnerable to fire, that happened to the Globe in 1613 which caused that it burned to the ground, but got rebuilt later on with stronger materials such as a new tile roof.