Romeo and Juliet is a great play for a play-reading by school children (at school, or home-schoolers); students; or play-reading groups. We ran a playreading of R&J recently in Edinburgh and we’ve published a play-reading report about it at: Playreading Report: Romeo and Juliet, Edinburgh 13th Dec. 2015
Players-Shakespeare.com provides playreading castings for 6 to 16 playreaders for Romeo and Juliet. Each casting lets a small group of people read a play, sharing the roles amongst the readers minimising the amount readers talk to themselves as different characters, and equalising, as far as possible, the number of lines per reader. Each reader’s lines are highlit, in different colours for each character, and everyone is using the same online script.
Each player needs their own tablet, smartphone, or laptop, with a web browser. The experience is probably best on a tablet, then a smartphone, and then a laptop. The main advantages of the tablet and smartphone are: the touchscreen which makes scrolling easier, and the full-screen presentation of the text. On a tablet (e.g. Apple iPad), the standard index will show alongside the script or writing; on a smartphone, it should display after the script / writing.
If you’re playing the whole play, each player needs to click on one of the following roles to play, and clicking on the link will take them to a script of the play which shows their role in Highlit Text (their lines are highlit in a colour; other speakers lines are shown in conventional black on white). Each player can choose to change to Parts and Cues format if they wish, by clicking on the setup gearwheel, selecting the options they prefer, and then clicking on the setup gearwheel to close it again.. Below you’ll see the characters that each player plays in a casting of six. The lines for each character will be highlit in a different colour.
Player 1 – Romeo, Paris, Abram, 2nd Watch
Player 1 talks to themselves 6 times in A5S3 (Romeo and Paris – perhaps player 2 can play Paris in A5S3)
Player 2 – Juliet, Servingman, Musician 1, Page, Citizen, Servingman 1
Note: Player 2 talks to themselves once in A1S3
Player 2 talks to themselves once in A5S3
Player 2 has to talk to themselves in different roles in A1S3 and A5S3 – Hint: try and find two different accents.
Player 4 – Capulet, Prince, Peter, Chorus, Apothecary, Head Servingman
Note: Player 4 talks to themselves 3 times in A5S3 (Capulet and Prince – perhaps player 5 can play Capulet in A5S3)
After each player has beem allocated a role, they should click on the link for the appropriate Player No., which will take them to Act 1 Scene 1 of the play, with their role(s) highlit in colour, in the scenes in which they appear. They can, of course, change the script to Parts and Cues format, in the Configuration window (Click on the gearwheel in the top right-hand corner of the play script windows) though at least one of the players should remain in Highlit Text format, so they can act as prompt for the others if things go wrong.
When everyone has selected their role, let the reading commence.