Today, we launch playreading packs for 12 of Shakespeare’s plays. You can see those available already at:
We plan to release playreading packs for the other First Folio plays over the next 2-3 years.
A playreading pack helps playreading groups to run a playreading of a Shakespeare play. It takes much of the work out of preparing a text, and takes much of the work out of choosing which roles each reader reads. The play can be read on most popular e-readers and on paper (US letter or European A4 sizes).
Each playreading pack consists of:
A set of castcards which casts the roles in the play for a different number of readers (usually around 6 – 12)
A Modern First Folio Edition (MFFE) of the play in epub format for reading on Apple iPads and iPhones; Android Tablets and Smartphones, and most other epub e-readers.
The same MFFE editon of the play in azw3 or mobi format for reading on Kindles
The same MFFE edition of the play in pdf format, for viewing with Adobe Reader, or for printing out on US letter or European A4 sized paper.
Here in Edinburgh, we have been using this way of playreading Shakespeare plays for the past 15 months, and most of the group are very pleased with the method. After a little transition time, only one of the readers still uses a paper copy of the script. Everyone else uses an e-reader of some kind. The e-readers the group uses include: Apple iPad; Apple iPhone; Google Nexus 7, Google Nexus 4, Kindle, Samsung Galaxy S4, Windows PC, and iMac. Most of the readers have their own e-reader. We have 2 or 3 spare e-readers for those who haven’t yet purchased one.
We know of a number of cases where playreading packs have been used by playreading groups and academic institutions with their students, with positive feedback. Castcards and the plays have also been downloaded around 4,000 times from our web-site.
The playreading packs are also useful for production groups putting on a Shakespeare play. The MFFE is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License, which means that you can modify an MFFE play (using a software product like Sigil and/or Calibre, to produce your own version of the play for production, with no licence issues. We are even open to publishing such a version in our C21E edition.
So that’s the good news. The bad news is that we charge for most of these playreading packs. The standard price for an MFFE playreading pack is £5 sterling. For an introductory period (until the end of 2014), we are offering playreading packs at half price (£2.50 sterling). In addition, the next play we plan to playread in Edinburgh will be on sale until the playreading at £2.50 sterling.
Three plays are free: King Lear (tragedy); Twelfth Night (comedy); Henry IV Part I (history) so that groups who haven’t used playreading packs can try them out for free.
You can pay for a playreading pack via Paypal, either using your PayPal account, or a debit / credit card. Click on the Purchase button, and then the Check-out button and then go to Paypal for payment. Although prices are shown in UK sterling, we understand that PayPal will show the charge in your local currency.
We do not expect to make a lot of money from these charges. We hope that revenue will make a contribution to covering the costs of Players-Shakespeare.com and allow it to survive. Our primary objective is to encourage people to read Shakespeare’s plays in a playreading group. We think it’s great fun, and enriches your understanding of the plays.
We hope you’ll join in the fun and playread some Shakespeare plays.
This web-site offers a lot of support in running playreadings, and we plan to offer more:
– Check out our Playreading Packs page at:
– Check out the plays we’ve published in the MFFE at:
Or of course, you can always visit our Playreading Home Page where you’ll find details of new plays published; playreading reports, etc.
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