http://www.shakespearetavern.com/opp.htm Thanks to regular reader/commenter Ann for the link on “original practice”, where Shakespeare performance is done as close as possible to how Shakespeare himself would have done it.
In the Elizabethan Playhouse, as I imagine it, the world of the play and the world of performance are one and the same. Thus we do not craft a distinct world of performance for each and every play we do. We use the Elizabethan playhouse. In the Playhouse, we have the Heavens, we have the Hell, we have every thing known to man and we have all of humanity as well. We have all that has come before and all that is yet to come. The playwright has free and easy access to all creation with the stroke of the pen. Thus the playhouse was the central metaphor for life, the universe, and everything. Shakespeare called his playhouse “The Globe”.
This reminds me of my own limited theatre experience back in college, where I wrote for the annual festival of plays (and saw 4 of my works produced). They did strictly bare stage, where the only props you got were black cubes. If you sat on one it was a chair, if you stacked them it was a wall. Anything else, you were bringing it onstage and taking it off yourself. Now, that’s probably a gross over simplification of one small part of what the author’s talking about, so I’ll shut up. I mention it only because I credit that experience with making me more a playwright and a man of words, than some who cares what color the mountains are. I’ve always been happy to write “Scene: Outside” and then move on to whatever the characters need to be talking about.