Around 1568, a group of actors visited Stratford and put on a play before the
entire town, with permission from John Shakespeare, the mayor of the town. The
people loved the play, especially the small children. All of them looked up to
the actors, as they returned each year to perform different plays. They had
dreams of one day becoming actors, but only one of these children fulfilled this
dream. This child was the mayor's son, William Shakespeare.
At this time, actors in England usually spent their careers traveling to new
towns, performing plays at city buildings or local inns. However, with the help
of James Burbage, this all changed. James Burbage designed and built the first
theatre in England. The actors could then settle down in one place and perform
in a place built for plays. The theatre was a huge success, and many more began
popping up over England, but this theatre built by James Burbage was forever
known as The Theatre.
The layout of the stage consisted of five levels. The lowest level was for trap
doors built into the stage. The next level was the main stage, where the actors
did most of their performing. Above this was the balcony level, which could be
used to represent anything from a city wall to a mountain. The next level
contained pulleys which could raise or lower anything from above. The top level
was used for creating sounds of rain or thunder, or dropping important objects
from the sky.
William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway at age 18. In two years, they had
three children, a daughter named Susanna, and twins, Hamnet and Judith. He
didn't stay in Stratford long after this though. He left his family to pursue a
career as an actor in London.
Shakespeare wrote his first play in 1592. It was a historical play called Henry
VI, which was one of the biggest successes of the year. Some scholars
criticized him because he did not have a university education like most
, but probably the... [continues]
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