Box Office Bears explores the widespread, surprising, and sometimes alarming recreational interactions between humans and animals in Shakespeare’s time.
Animal baiting in early modern England
Join us to discover more about historical bears and dogs: where did they come from and where did they go? How were they treated? What did they eat? Where did they grow up? How and when did they die?
These are some of the questions we invite you to explore with us…
Our team are continuously working on our archive of resources and blog posts as well as planning events around the Box Office Bears project. Here are our most recent additions.Meet Our Team
In the last week of September 2023, the Box Office Bears team worked with the fabulous 1623 Theatre Company to explore a multitude of bears in early modern plays. We ran through the texts in the morning, workshopped them in the afternoon and then performed them for the public in the evening. This post offers some reflections on the process.View
In July, the Box Office Bears team visited Wildwood Trust in Kent. Wildwood has three rescued captive bears, who are living new lives in a large, wooded enclosure at the Trust.View
The questions we pose about the past do not just belong to the past; while the practices described here might seem bizarre and even barbaric, Animal cruelty is still rife across the UK and the world today. We encourage you to donate to our partner the Badger Trust, which provides support against animal cruelty.
The Beginnings of London Commercial Theatre, c. 1565-1595
How and why did the public playhouses come to open in London in the sixteenth century?
Our sister site Before Shakespeare looks at what happens when we concentrate on the beginnings of playhouses, in the early years of Elizabeth’s reign, rather than seeing them as late sixteenth-century phenomena?