2. Theatre in Shakespeare’s time
- Stanley Wells
Both drama and theatre were developing rapidly in Shakespeare’s early years. ‘Theatre in Shakespeare’s time’ explains how Shakespeare followed in the footsteps of the first great wave of stage writers known as the University Wits—John Lyly, Thomas Lodge, Christopher Marlowe, George Peele, Thomas Nashe, and Robert Greene—learning from them and collaborating with them. It describes the London theatrical scene, the playing spaces, and the actors of the time before outlining Shakespeare’s early career, the narrative poems that kept him afloat financially, and introducing the Lord Chamberlain’s, and later King’s Men, the acting company that formed in 1594.