I know that lately you have spent a lot of time working on shows. I would venture a guess that you have spent more time back stage or on stage then you have spent sitting in the audience, and will bet that you have never sat in the audience for a show during the English renaissance.
The structure for the audience during the English renaissance was built to accommodate as many audience members as possible because the more people they fit into each show, the more money that could be made for that show. The seating arrangement consisted of three sections: the pit, the box, and the gallery.
The pit was at ground level and anyone that was in the pit had to stand in order to see the show. The pit took up the entire ground floor. Built into the walls were tiers of seating. These tiers were divided into private boxes. The boxes nearest the pit which had the best view were usually the most expensive. The uppermost tiers were what made up the gallery, the galleries had open bench seating. The seats were equivalent to what we refer today as the nosebleeds. They were the cheapest seats.
Although the pit consisted of people that had to stand in order to watch the show, the pit was a lot closer to the stage. The pit also created a space in which spectators could eat, move around, socialize with each other and more easily throw things at the stage if the show was bad. The pit is where someone paid to be to get the full theatre experience.
When “The Doctor,” the time traveling alien protagonist from BBC’s hit series “Doctor Who” takes his human companion back in time to see the first ever showing of Shakespeare’s “love’s labour’s lost” he has his companion and himself watch the show from the pit. Granted, “The Shakespeare Code.” But my main point is that The Doctor is a powerful being that can travel anywhere in time and space. Hell he could have flown above the theatre and watched the show from above. But he did not, he brought his companion and himself to watch it from the pit. Because that is where the people are.