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 (Best). 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 all over England, but the 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 (Delville).
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 did not 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" (Hazlitt). Some scholars criticized him because he did not have a university education like most play writes, but probably the only reason he was criticized for this was because his play was so popular.