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How to use this web-site (Players-Shakespeare.com)

Introduction:

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Players-Shakespeare.com offers lots of ways to help play-readers and actors to  take part in Shakespeare productions or play-readings. This page outlines that help. You’d be best to view this page on a laptop or high-end tablet in landscape mode.

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Ths web-site has two main types of users:

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Playreading or Production Organisers:

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Such people will find it easiest to use the web-site on a lap-top or high-end tablet (e.g. Apple mini-iPad or iPad Pro). This will allow them to see and easily use Players-Shakespeare.com’s menu system to access all the facilities it provides. When reading a script, they can also see the index to that particular play which lets them access all the pages related to that play. When reading a play, they can also see the script index.

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Play-readers or Actors:

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Play-readers and actors can read their script on smartphones, in addition to tablets and lap-tops. All the other features areailable, but they are not so easy to find.

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The Menu System:

If you find Menu Systems boring, you can always use the Custom Google Search box which is on the top of the right-hand section of the page. This will provide quick access to all the pages on the web-site which are relevant to the search you enter. You may get a few paid entries from other web-sites aat thje top of the search results page, but you can always ignore them 🙂

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If you don’t like Google Search, you can use  our Menu System (as seen on a laptop) shown in the image below:

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Below the banner advertisemnt, you’ll see a list of menu items (Home… Let’s Play… The Plays.. etc). This is the menu system. If you click on any of the menu items, a sub-menu will open up, showing all the items in that menu. If you click on one of the sub-menu items, you’ll be taken to the appropriate page(s) .

What do each of these menu items let you do?

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Home:

The Home menu lets you: see the Home page of Players-Shakespeare, including a table of the plays we have published. It also let’s you see what we’re trying to do (Our Objective, etc), and a list of recent posts we’ve made to the web-site (What’s New).

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Let’s Play:

The Let’s Play menu lets you select scenes from Shakespeare’s plays for a particular number of players (1, 2, 3, 4, or more than 4) and some help items to help you use Let’s Play. This is useful if you’ve got a few friends around and you all want to play-read some scenes from Shakespeare. Just click on the appropriate number of players and you’ll see all the scenes we’ve set up for that number of players to read.

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The Plays:

This is probably the most important part of the site. When you click on ‘The Plays’ menu item, you’ll see a list of all the plays we’ve published. Click on the play you want to read, and you’ll be taken to the script of that play.

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You can also get to these plays from the table on our home page. Sometimes it’s more convenient to use the Home Page; sometimes it’s more convenient to use ‘The Plays’ menu.

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Video Readings:

The Video Readings Menu item lets you use  Video Readings, which are recordings of scenes from Shakespeare. Our own Video Readings cmostly onsist of the a recording of the sounds of the scene, with a scrolling script of the scene. The menu has three sub-menus: ‘View Video Readings’ which lets you see all Video Readings we’ve published; ‘Video Reading Submission’ which lets you submit a Video Reading you’ve made to Players-Shakespeare.com; ‘How to make a Video Reading’ which thelps you make a Video Reading.

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Playreading:

The Play-reading menu lets you do manny things to do with Playreading: ‘Countdown to Playreading’; is a list of the 10 most important things you need to do to set up a Playreading Group using our Scripts; ‘Playreading Reports’ lets you see all the Playreading Reports we (and others) have written; ‘Published MFFEV5 plays and extracts’ lets you see all the plays, extracts and play-reading reports we have published; ‘Add a Playreading Report’ lets you submit a report on a play-reading you have run.

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Reviews:

The Reviews menu lets you read the reviews of Shakespeare productions (which you can mostly view on your TV / PC at home by buying a DVD or by streaming it across the Net). The menu contains the following sub-items: ‘Great shows to watch at home’ takes you to a page which shows the shows we recommend you watch at home, with links to where you can buy the DVD and/or stream them from; ‘Globe Player Reviews’ shows you all the shows we have reviewed by The Globe Theatre (a replica of a theatre that Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed in) in London and can be streamed or purchased); ‘All our Reviews’ shows you all our reviews of the Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent shows that we have reviewed.

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Reg / Log-on:

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The Reg / Log-on menu lets you register with Players-Shakespeare.com and log-on / off when you’re using the web-site.

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Help:

The Help menu offeres extensive Help on how to use Players-Shakespeare.com. It includes Help pages on various topics; a number of Help videos on how to use specific features; FAQs; Feedback; etc. We hope the menu items are self-explanatory.

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News:

The news section contains news stories about the   web-site and about developments in Shakespeare-related theatre.

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MFFEV1:

The MFFEV1 menu contains plays from an earlier version of our format – MFFEV1. They are all slowly being replaced by MFFEV5 versions of the plays which you can see on the Home Page and in ‘The Plays’ menu. If we haven’t yet produced an MFFEV5 version of a play, you may well be able to find an MFFEV1 version in this menu. There are three disadvantages to MFFEV1: you have to use Cast Cards instead of Cast lists; you cannot use Parts and Cues or Hihglight Text; and you have to pay for them.

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MFFEV1 is the last menu item, so if you’ve got this far, you’ve got a  good idea of the overall scope of Players-Shakespeare.com. Now we’ll explore the Play Index which exists for MFFEV5 plays.

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The play index:

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Below you’ll find a partial screen-shot of Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1 displayed on a lap-top, down to the end of the index. On the left-hand side of the screen you’ll see the script. On the right-hand side you’ll see an index. If you click on any item in the index (apart from the Section Headers in bold and italic) the script on the left-hand side will be replaced by whatever it is you have clicked on. This provides a way of accessing most of the items discussed above which relate to the play you’re looking at:

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The main sections in the index to the play are: Cover Page; Introduction to the play; Cast of the play; the whole script; Cast lists available for the play; Let’s Explore section; Let’s Play section; Video Readings section; Articles, DVDs, Reviews, and other Resources relating to the play; Help for the play.

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The script index:

The final thing you need to understand is the Script Index. The script index for Hamlet is shown below in a partial screen shot of Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1:

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The script index is shown below the title of the play (Hamlet)  in the grey box. The script index is  shown at the top of each scene, and at the end of each scene.

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You use the screen index to move from scene to scene. You can do this by pressing on the grey buttons (A1S1; A1S2; A1S3: etc).

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You can also use the script index to configure how you see the script, by using the set-up gearwheel in the right-hand side of the grey box.
If you click on the gearwheel it opens up a setup configuration window.
After you’ve  configured the setup window as you want it, you close the configuration window by clicking on the gearwheel again.
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You can configure the script to:

Show the script in Parts and Cues; Highlight Text; or Standard Text
Select which character(s) you want to read
Select which Cast list and player you want to use
Change Font size and type.

The detail of how you do this is best explored in a Help Video (click on the link below):

How to access a play and tailor it to meet your needs:

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If you’ve read all this and understood it – well done! Now it’s time to do something much more interesting – read Shakespeare’s plays!!!

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.Let’s Play!!!!.
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Before you go, we re-start play-reading in September, for our fourth year, and we’re hoping some other groups around the world will join us play-reading Macbeth or some other play. You can find out more about this initiative by looking at our checklist of activities to prepare for the play-reading:
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Richard Forsyth
‘The Director’
Players-Shakespeare.com

To find out what Players-Shakespeare.com is all about, check out What we do.
If you want to know how our Shakespeare edition is developing,  ‘like’ our Facebook page, and you’ll get more detailed updates on Facebook on what’s happening.

 

 

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