Theatre is recognized today as one of the most necessarily collaborative art forms, and Early Modern theatre bears little difference to today in that regard. In fact, artistic collaboration was likely more frequent, if less particularly documented than collaborations today.
Acting troupes were funded by aristocratic patrons, from whom their name was derived, and so names and troupes shifted with the sway of political tides. For example, Shakespeare’s company switched names when King James took them on at the beginning of his reign.
Here are some of the Playing Companies who laid the “groundling” work for “Golden Age” theatre.
1576-9: Howard’s Men
1579- 1631?: Admiral’s Men (Howard promoted)
Children of the Chapel Royal
Important playhouses: Blackfriars
1572-1588 (when they merged with Lord Strange’s Men)
Burbages construct The Theatre in 1576 to stage their productions.
It is stolen in 1598 by carpenter Peter Street, and later rebuilt as The Globe.
Important playhouses: The Theatre,
Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later King’s Men)
1564-7: Hundson’s Men
1567-1603: Lord Chamberlain’s Men (Hundson promoted)
1603- : King’s Men (King becomes patron)
Important Playhouses: The Globe,
Lord Strange’s Men
Important playhouses: The Theatre, The Rose
Prince Charles’ Company
Elizabethan World Reference Library. Ed. Sonia Benson. Vol. 1. Detroit: UXL, 2007. p163-179. 4 vols.