The Globe Theatre may permanently close due to coronavirus, and it's a devastating blow to Shakespeare fans
Since its opening in 1997, the Globe Theatre, a meticulously-crafted reproduction of the Elizabethan in-the-round theater of the Bard’s heyday, has been making dreams come true for Shakespeare’s biggest fans. It’s the place to go to see a Shakespeare play as he originally intended, and a visit to the Globe in London is on every theater lover’s bucket list. However, the Globe may not get the encore it deserves after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Per The Washington Post, the curtain may permanently close on the Globe Theatre if it doesn’t receive at least $7 million within this calendar year.
The original Globe playhouse was destroyed by fire in 1613. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that American actor and director Sam Wanamaker recreated the iconic theater at the exact same location along the Thames where Shakespeare debuted some of his finest works. Now, it’s a nonprofit that survives on ticket sales, guided tours, weddings, workshops, and more—which were all halted in March when coronavirus halted travel and shelter-in-place orders were put in place.
Even if the Globe were to reopen after the U.K.’s lockdown, it would still take months for the theater to bring in any revenue. First, it takes quite some time to ready a stage performance. Second, any six-fee-apart rule would be nearly impossible to put in place with the Globe Theatre’s purposefully archaic structure, in which audience members (or “groundlings”) are packed into the main pit to stand and watch the show.
However, there are ways for us to help the Globe stay afloat for as long as possible.
Like many other theater troupes and companies, the Globe is streaming past performances online. You can access these performances for free on YouTube, or you can rent or buy filmed performances via Globe Player—rentals cost about$7, and purchases are about $14. You can also donate directly to Shakespeare’s Globe through the donation page available on the theater’s website.
Hopefully, if we all pitch in a little, we’ll help out the Globe in a big way.
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