Every month, in Edinburgh, we run a play-reading of a Shakespeare play, with around 10 – 12 players. We use our own casting software to create castings for those players, and let players read their script in one of three formats: standard script; parts and cues; or highlit text. We won’t run the play-reading of Macbeth until Sunday 8th May, with the play-reading report planned to be published the following week.
We also publish that play on this web-site as our ‘Play of the Month’ which allows any play-reading group in the world to playread the same play with the same casting, and script formats. You’ll see the casting of the current ‘Play of the Month’ to the right of Shakespeare’s portrait above. Click on any of the characters and this article will be replaced by a ScriptWindow containing the script for those character(s) in the specified form.
This month (May 2016), we’re publishing Macbeth for a playreading cast of 8. 9. ot 10, all of which castings you can see to the right of this post. This is the first ‘Play of the Month’ that has castings which are ‘performable’ i.e. they can be played on stage, gender, age, and colour-blind, with some quick costume changes. Performable cast lists are the casts for 8 and 10 players. There’s also a link to the original cast list of ‘The King’s Men’, which requires 28 players.
We’re also publishing five scenes to play with less players (2 to 7). Again you’ll find the castings for those scenes in the sidebar to the right. The scenes are:
- A1S5 Lady Macbeth‘s dreadful resolve (2 players)
- A2S4: Macbeth shall sleep no more (2 players)
- A3S4: The Ghost of Banquo (4 players)
- A4S1: ‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.’ (7 players)
- A5S5: ‘I have supped full of horrors’ (2 players)
These are all great scenes to play, and if you click on the light-blue links with the name of each scene, in the sidebar to the right, you’ll get taken to an introduction to the scene, and instructions on how to run it.
Of course, you don’t have to play Macbeth at all. Instead you can choose any of the plays and extracts we’ve published at the following links:
Once you’ve chosen your play (or scene), get the required number of players together, each choose a different character, and you can play-read the play together.
There are two special entries in the casting table to the right: the first, which tells you the name of the play, and the number of players required, and takes you to a description of the play (and potentially other castings). The other special entry is the last, which will take you back to this description. In addition, you can click on nearly all the blue-coloured links to get a more detailed description of the scene.
If you’re not sure how our scripts work, and in particular if you don’t know about “Parts and Cues”, “Highlit Text”, or “Standard Script” you’ will find another set of links below the casting of the “Play of the Month” which will show you how to use these things, by exploring six scenes from Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, etc. You can also read an article called “Let’s Explore ‘Parts and Cues’, ‘Highlit Text’, and Standard Script“.
Of course, you don’t have to use the casting above. We usually publish at least 3 castings of each play for different numbers of players. Similarly, we usually set the script format for most characters as “Highlit Text”, which means that the speeches of your character(s) are highlit in (different) collours. You can change script format, and other things such as font and font size, by clicking on the Gear Wheel in the top right-hand corner of the script window. That will open the configuration window which lets you set the script format, the text size and font, and other settings. (Close the configuration window by clicking on the Gear Wheel again.)
We hope your group will start play-readings, and, if you do, we hope you’ll let us know how it goes by writing a play-reading report, like those we write and publish in our play reading section, which is a good starting place for information about our play-reading services.
If you want to keep up-to-date with our ‘Play of the Month’, ‘like’ our Facebook page.