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Have Bard's boards been unearthed?

August 07, 2008|From the Associated Press

The theater where "The Merchant of Venice" and "Romeo and Juliet" probably debuted and where William Shakespeare himself may have trodden the boards has probably been discovered in east London, archaeologists at the Museum of London said Wednesday.

The possible foundations of what is known as simply the Theatre were unearthed by builders excavating the site -- a vacant garage -- for another structure. Museum archaeologists were called to the location to make sure nothing was destroyed, and had a eureka moment.

The possible discovery of the Theatre, built in 1576 and where Shakespeare's troupe performed in the 1590s, could complete the set of open-air theaters where the Bard's plays were staged. The Rose theater's location was discovered in 1989 in Bankside, just south of the River Thames in central London, and the Globe theater is nearby. A replica of the Globe was built on a site close to the original and opened in 1997.

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