Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts

First Committee Member

K. C. Davis

Number of Pages



Knowing one's audience is crucial to any theatre. How can the marketing staff target new patrons if they know nothing about their immediate audience? This quandary need not be limited to the present. Therefore, the thesis I propose is entitled "Penny Stinkards And Proper Gentlemen: The Demographics of London's Theatre Audiences 1567-1642." I have researched the different facets of Elizabethan life that may have played a factor in attendance. Rather than discussing whom Middleton, Kyd, and Shakespeare were writing for, I have discussed who may have actually attended. Whom one writes for and who ends up in the audience are not always one in the same. Many dramatists recognize the rich and the poor in their work. Who were they? Whose finances and work schedule would have allowed them to attend an afternoon performance? If these factors prevented some from attending, who would have attended anyway? Were there religious or moral factors that influenced attendance? These questions are some that I hope to answer; I approached this with an open mind. I wanted to paint a picture of the potential audience demographic, with no bias to any one theory. I went where my research took me. Much of what has been written is speculation, and I have no illusions that my conclusions are any different. How could they be without the aid of time travel? What I hope to accomplish is a better understanding of the people who may have patronized Elizabethan theatres.


Audiences; Demographics; England; Gentlemen; London; Penny; Proper Stinkards; Theatre

Controlled Subject

Theater; British literature; English literature--Irish authors; Irish literature

File Format


File Size

1546.24 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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