Philip Henslowe

Definition

Theater

  • (d. 1616) English theater-owner and impresario, whose diariesand notes are invaluable sources of information about the theaterof his time. They were inherited by his son-in-law, the actor EdwardAlleyn, and are now in Dulwich College (founded by Alleyn).

    Henslowe built the Rose Theatre in 1587, the Fortune(with Alleyn) in 1600, and the Hope in 1613. His papers showhim to have been a shrewd businessman who made annual contracts withactors, paying them a fixed salary. He also leased his theaters tocompanies and provided costumes and properties in return for a largeshare of the profits from each production.

    The accounts for Henslowe's theaters include loans made toactors. Some researchers suspect that Henslowe kept actors in debtto him in order to tie them to his theater. In 1615 several actorsdrew up a document headed Articles of Grievance, and Articles ofOppression, against Mr. Hinchlowe, accusing him of embezzlingtheir money and unlawfully retaining their property.

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