National Geographic : 1951 Sep
OnanElizabethan Stage, Romeo and Juliet Speak Deathless Lines One ofthebiggest attrac tions attheFolger Library, forscholars, specialists, and sight-seers alike, isitsEliz abethan theater (page 418). Itcombines features of such historic London play houses astheSwan, Globe (opposite), and Fortune. Designing anauthentic theater tobehoused within thelibrary presented many architectural problems. Size had tobelimited, since it was toserve asalecture room, too. Also, some characteristics ofoldplay houses had tobediscarded. InShakespeare's day the theater encircled aroofless yard where theaudience stood exposed tothe weather. The Folger thea tersuggests this bymeans ofalighted canopy over thepit. Orchestra seats and artificial lighting arethe only concessions tomodern design. The stage retains the original Elizabethan flavor. Actors perform ontwo levels ofthesimple, uncur tained platform.