The drama rapresented the main Court entertainsment. Henry VIII had appointed a Master of the Revels whose aim was to superintend the perfomances.
Public players were normally employed; in this way the Court helped them and contribuited to the survival of the popular theatre.
A public company was very much like a commercial enterprise, in which all the partners were sharers.
Each company had its own dramatist, and the plays had to suit the actors, both physically and in particular aspects or their personalities.
This is why the main character in Shakespeare's plays becomes gradually older at first Romeo, then Hamlet, Othello, King Lear: the main actor remained with the company.
The last decades of the 16th century saw the booming of the the theatre.
Plays were usually performed in couryards or public halls, only occasionally in private theatres.
Soon special buildings began to spring up on the south bank of the Thames out of the city walls, because plays were thought to encourage bad behaviour.
Other important theatres were the Rose and the Swan, but the most successful of all was the Globe, Shakespeare's theatre, which was built in Southwark, south London, in 1599.
The women did not appear on the stage and female parts were performed by boys.