3.6- Baroque Theatre

A Glimpse into Baroque Theatre Craft

Enjoy a re-creation of some of the marvelous technical feats of theater in this film excerpt.

Enjoy the virtual tour of this restoration Baroque Theatre at the Castle Cesky Krumlov.

The Evolution of Set Design


Theatre moves to a more permanent indoor location

A permanent venue meant more realism could be developed through the set.

  • More special visual effects
    • Waves
    • Pop-ups from below the stage
    • Flying apparatus
  • Painted sets and backdrops
  • Moving sets
  • Under the stage mechanisms
  • Curtains

The development of the Proscenium Arch Stage

  • Most typical stage design, even today
  • Frames the action


  • Changes of scenery
  • Illusionistic techniques of painting
  • Ticks of the eye


  • Footlights
  • Colored lights
  • Dimmable Lights
  • All done by lamps, torches, candles


  • Highly elaborate
  • Costumed in the style of the day


  • The patronage of the wealthy
  • Plays for an educated audience
  • Private stages

Theatre in France


The Unities

  • 3 Unities — inspired by classical Greek and Roman drama
    • Time
    • Place
    • Action
  • Plays of elegance are limited to a 24 hour period for the storyline


About Moliere


– Moliere’s most enduring work.

Highly influenced by Comedia dell’ arte

  • Written in rhyming verse
  • Poked fun at the religiously hypocritical
  • Satire of the extreme gullibility of people
  • Considered an attack on religion
  • Tartuffe is censored and banned
  • Work returned to the stage under the protection of the king.

Pierre Corneille — Playwright

Specialized in tragedy

Jean Racine — Playwright

Tragic and fatalistic

View trailer for “Phedra”.

Actresses — The Spanish Golden Age of Theatre


Spanish Theatre — religious plays allowed women to play female roles

  • This later eased into secular plays
  • Late 1500’s laws ping-pong — Yes Women — No Women
  • 1600 — Women are allowed! But no cross dressing below the waist.

English Theatre

More about English theater  – preferred link – but it is temporarily offline

Alternate link

England had political turmoil during the first portion of the Baroque era

  • The Rule of Charles I without Parliament
  • Civil War — All theatres close
  • Actors considered Rogues

Theatre’s reopen after Charles I is beheaded and Charles II instated

  • Theatre become Royal property
  • Only 2 London companies are giving permits

Theatre during Charles II was called “Restoration Theatre

2 Responses to “3.6- Baroque Theatre”

  1. work at home writes:

    Very good work, interesting post, bookmarked !

  2. The Thrilling World of Baroque Theatre | The Electronic Revolution writes:

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