These scenic resources displayed along the length of the scenic stage would combine with the forestage area to create a deep acting space.
Unless there was a specific reason to go upstage, such as setting up a tableau behind closed shutters, the suggestion of distance, or some other practical motive, it is likely that the actors would prefer to remain on the forestage.
This only confirms that the forestage was the default place for action, which required no indication in stage directions.
Then one of the boys lets Guzman in through a door, but has to stay out of Guzman's sight (which suggests a door opening onto the forestage and the boy hiding behind it).
The plans did not include a forestage and thus no doors giving entrance to it, so I pointed out that offering Restoration comedies might be commercially attractive in a place like Cambridge and that, given the intention to make the venue adaptable to various forms of baroque theatre, it might be a good idea to include a mode which would accommodate productions resembling the ones from the Restoration era.
If one subscribes to the four-door model, which is based on evidence from later theatres, particularly the first Drury Lane (1674), it is easy to imagine entrances, and hence stage action, on the forestage near the doors, and hard to find reasons why action should normally occur in the scenic area, upstage of the curtain line.
The model employs a pair of forestage doors and, as I have expounded in previous Theatre Notebook articles ("The Early Restoration Stage Re-Anatomised"; "Boyle's Guzman"), I follow Graham Barlow, John Orrell, and Dawn Lewcock in adopting a scenic arrangement similar to John Webb's design for the Hall theatre at Whitehall (Fig.
The twin pairs of forestage doors implied in the widely reproduced sectional drawing of a theatre ascribed to Sir Christopher Wren (Fig.
In the case of LIF, evidence from stage directions in all the plays known to have been premiered at this theatre, some of which is discussed here, points more to the use of two forestage doors than four (Keenan "Early Restoration Staging").
Wing entrances must have been intended on John Webb's Hall stage, as the plan shows only a vestigial forestage and consequently no forestage doors.
Note that Visser assumes, rather than argues for, the use of four forestage doors in his model, and that for the most part only one wall is brought into play in any given scene: the opposite wall has no scenic function and is presumably to be imagined as neutral.
Downstage is added a forestage with two doors and associated balconies.
1 is an external scene and the subsequent dialogue enables an audience to interpret the forestage wall, door, and balcony on one side of the stage as part of the exterior of Henrique's house.
There are no staging difficulties until the arrival of the sedan chair, and no need for more than two forestage doors.
The general debate about the number of forestage doors on Restoration stages assumes a very specific relevance when it comes to this play.