Our cast list pages are used to define which characters you will play in a play-reading, and in what format you want to play them.
When using a cast list to select the characters you will play, you can see the script in one of two formats:
- Highlight Script format: In this format, you will see the whole script of the play, but the speeches of the characters you are playing will be highlighted in colour, a different colour for each character.
- Cue Script format: In this format, you will see only the speeches of the characters you are playing and the cues which prompt you to speak the speech. This may seem strange, but many actors prefer this format, because it is similar to what happens on stage. Incidentally, it is also the format that actors received their scripts in Shakespeare’s time.
The different players are allocated characters to play by a computer process which tries to allocate roles ‘fairly’. Each player usually gets at least one principal character to play; an attempt is made to make player parts as similar as possible; the number of times a player has to speak to themselves is minimised.
Play-readers are allocated to player no., in one of two ways: by lot; or by the play-reading group leader. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.
As an example, we’re going to use the Cast List for 7 players for our play One Hour Romeo and Juliet. You’ll see a picture of that Cast List page below:
If you look at the Cast list page above, you’ll see that it consists of two tables, one with all the players and their characters which will give you a Highlight Text format script, and one which gives you Cue Script Format.
Note that some players are only allocated one character (Juliet, Nurse) and other players may have up to three characters to play (e.g. Player 5 plays Mercuio, Balthasar, and Gregory).
To find out which characters you will be playing, look in the appropriate Cast List page and choose the player no. you have been allocated. Use the table for the script format you want to read: the Highlight Text Format table; or the Cue Script Format table.
When you click on the Player No., you will be taken to the script of the play for the player no., and format you have chosen.
But what is the difference between Cue Script and Highlight Text script formats? The following two images show you the end of A1S3, if you have selected Player 4 in the Cast list for 7 players (Lady Capulet, Peter). The first image shows the script in Highlight Text mode:
Note that the speeches of Lady Capulet and Peter, are shown in different colours. The speeches of other characters (e.g. Nurse, Juliet) are shown in black text on a white background.
Now how does the same scene for Player 4 of 7 (Lady Capulet and Peter) look in Cue Script mode:
In this format, only the speeches that Player 4 is going to speak (Lady Capulet, Peter) are shown. In addition, stage directions are shown, and the cue for each speech (the last three words of the previous speech, shown in red, on the right-hand side of the script page.
Note that you don’t even know the speaker, so if you’re reading in cue script mode you have to keep your wits about you and listen carefully to every speech to hear if it ends with the cue for your next speech. Some people hate this, and some people love it – mostly actors because they have to do this on stage during a performance.
So when everyone has chosen their player no. and decided whether to read their part in Highlight text or Cue Script format, and you’ve all got to the first scene….
To go back to the cast list page you came from, press your ‘back button’. To go to the Index and Help page, press the button at the top or bottom of this page.