Theatres in Amsterdam and Antwerp between 1637 and 1775 : the evolving designs of theatres in the early modern Low Countries
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Restoration and 18th-century theatre research
, p. 5-32
University of Antwerp
Despite the increasingly problematic economic context, between 1637 and 1775 theatre performances thrived in the Low Countries (both the Northern and Southern Netherlands), and theatre architecture quickly evolved. This article looks at a number of relatively little-known theatres in Amsterdam (the official city theatres built in 1637, 1665, and 1774) and Antwerp (1711), and in particular at the evolving designs and the use of (public) spaces in these buildings. During this era, Antwerp and, later, Amsterdam evolved from a trend-setting position toward a trend-adopting one. This goes for the cultural life in general, and for theatre life and architecture in particular. Old rhetoricians' models and lofty academic goals gave way to down-to-earth commercial concerns. And larger changes in society, including a growing need for social stratification, were also reflected by the theatres.