- In the Elizabethan theater, the canopy or roof over the stage(the below-stage area was known as the Hell). Also calledthe Shadow, it protected the open stage from rain and housedmachinery and other devices for special effects. Such sound effectsas thunder were created within the attic space, and flying props werelowered from there. Sometimes the underside of the Heavens was paintedwith the sky, sun, moon, stars, and signs of the zodiac. In many theaters,such as the Swan, the roof was supported by two pillars, but at theHope it was cantilevered so that the stage could be removed for otherentertainments.