An acting troupe is defined as a group of actors that perform and travel together. Throughout the Elizabethan Era, commonly referred to as the Shakespearean Era as well, many acting troupes performed for many people, especially for the nobility and the people of higher status. There were many prominent acting troupes during this time period, which included Lord Strange’s Men, Chamberlian’s Men, Admiral’s Men, and King’s Men.
The earliest acting troupe during this era was Earl of Leicester’s Men. This acting troupe was one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite acting troupes, and were granted a license by a royal patent. When the Earl of Liecester died, the acting troupe eventually merged with Lord Strange’s Men. Lord Strange’s Men was made of members from the household of Lord Strange. They toured the England provinces and then started performing in 1582. These actors familiarized themselves with Admiral’s Men, another prominent acting troupe. Lord Strange’s Men performed at the Rose Theatre and The Theatre, and acted several of Shakespeare’s plays. With the death of Lord Strange, the group left London and performed in the provinces, but some dispatched and joined Chamberlain’s Men. Lord Chamberlain’s Men, was considered the most important acting troupe during this time period. They were originally known as Hunsdon’s Men. But after the death of the first Lord Hundson, his son, second Lord Hundson, took office and called himself Lord Chamberlain. Eventually, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, were taken by royal patronage and were from there on known as The King’s Men. Admiral’s Men was the last prominent acting troupe during this time. They were under their Patron Charles Howard, who was promoted to England’s Lord High Admiral, and from here on this troupe was known as Admiral’s Men. This troupe was considered the best Elizabethan acting troupe, but their popularity began to fall as the Chamberlain’s Men acting troupe began to rise. By 1631, Admiral’s Men acting troupe dispatched. All of the acting troupes mentioned were basically the only licensed legal acting troupes allowed to act during the Elizabethan Era. The picture below is a picture of Chamberlain's Men (Lord Chamberlain's Acting Company).
The acting style of the Elizabethan era was overdramatic and over-exaggerated. It was melodramatic and the emotions that were presented were over-acted. For example in Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, the dialogue between Claudia and prince Don when Claudia express her love for Hero, shows how there was to much emphasis and people really would not react in that same manner. Many of these plays and actors followed this stereotype of being melodramatic. Acting styles were considered declamatory. Actors were often seen ranting about a subject that they felt passionate about, like in “Romeo and Juliet”, when Romeo was outside Juliet’s balcony and professed of her beauty and his love for her, Romeo was speaking passionately of his love, ranting and being melodramatic. Romeo and Juliet (Below).
The playhouses and the amphitheater greatly helped the actors of this time. The playhouses allowed acting troupes to perform all year round, instead of performing for only one season. The amphitheatre generated more wealth and helped to increase the reputation of Elizabethan Actors. Also the Amphitheater helped to save money for the actors because now the actors had a place to perform and did not have to spend money on traveling and setting up and taking down stages. So the creations of these buildings generated more wealth for the actors and gave them a full time profession.