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Shakespeare was involved in many aspects of London’s professional theatrical world. He was an actor, a playwright, and a shareholder in an acting company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which became the King’s Men when James I became king in 1603. His plays were performed on professional stages owned by his company--first the Theatre, and then, after 1599, the Globe. (After a property dispute, the Theatre was disassembled and the timbers used to build the Globe). In 1609, his company began using its own indoor theater at Blackfriars. His plays were performed in many other spaces, including the royal court, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the Inns of Court, public buildings and outdoor spaces in the provinces, and private households.

The total number of Shakespeare’s plays varies somewhat, depending on who is counting them, and how. The total shifts between 38 and 40 plays as scholars reassess references to his two lost plays--Love’s Labor’s Won and Cardenio--and analyze how large a hand he had in some collaboratively-written plays.

This category includes all publications of his plays, up to and including the First Folio in 1623; all entries for his plays in the Stationers' Register; administrative documents from the National Archives and elsewhere that make reference to his theaters and theater companies; and printed and handwritten references to seeing and/or reading his plays. Read Alan H. Nelson's thematic essay to learn more about lawsuits in Shakespeare's England.

Visit the British Library's Shakespeare in Quarto, to learn even more about actorsplayhouses and theater companies in Shakespeare's time, and to view completely digitized copies of Shakespeare's plays.

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1594
In 1594, Peter Short printed an anonymous play called The Taming of a Shrew to be sold by Cuthbert Burby.
July 20, 1594
The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine, the Eldest Son of King Brutus was entered into Stationers' Liber B  by Thomas Creede on July 20, 1594 as "The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine, the eldest sonne of Kinge Brutus.
March 12, 1594
Henry VI Part 2 was entered into Stationer's Liber B on March 12, 1594 as "the firste parte of the Contention of the twoo famous houses of York and Lancaster with the deathe of the good Duke Humfrey and the banishement and Deathe of the Duke of Suffolk and the tragicall ende of
1594
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
February 6, 1594
Titus Andronicus was entered into Stationer's Liber B on February 6, 1594 as "a Noble Roman Historye of Tytus  Andronicus." John Danter, the printer who entered the play, also created a separate entry for a ballad with the same storyline.
December 1, 1595
Edward III was entered in Liber C of the Stationers' Company on December 1, 1595 as "Edward the Third and the Blacke Prince their warres with kinge John of Fraunce." The play was entered by London publisher Cuthbert Burby, who ordered the first quarto edition
March 15, 1595
By March 15, 1595, and inferentially by Christmas 1594, William Shakespeare had become a leading member of his company, the Lord Chamberlain’s players, sufficiently senior to serve with William Kempe and Richard Burbage as a financial trustee.
December 7, 1595
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1595
Locrine was published by Thomas Creede in 1595 with a title page claiming that the play is “Newly set foorth, overseene and corrected, By W.S.” This Senecan revenge tragedy, with close thematic and plot links to Shakespeare and George Peele’s Titu
1595
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!

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