If you want to avoid our text, and get straight to Shakespeare’s , click on: The Tempest.
One could make a case for saying that The Tempest is better in a play-reading than as a production. The verse is magnificent; some of the scenes are not easy to make work on stage (e.g. A1S2, with Prospero’s long explanation of how they got there, A2S1, with Antonio and Sebastian’s rather nasty asides, etc). Whether you buy into this or not, The Tempest is certainly a great play for a play-reading.
Players-Shakespeare.com provides playreading castings for 5 to 10 playreaders, and in our view, the play-reading is likely to go best, if you have 10 players, and so, you’ll find in the side-bar on the right, castings for 8 to 10 players (just in case you get 1 or 2 no-shows on the day). Of course, if you want to run a play-reading for 5 – 7 players, you can do that, but each player will have to configure their part by using the Cloud Configurator (the gear-wheel shown on the header of the 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.
Each player needs to select one of the roles to play, from the sidebar on the right, 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). After a play clicks on a link they will be taken to A1S1 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, if they prefer. 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.
Do make sure all players choose a role from the same casting, otherwise confusion may reign. When everyone has selected their role, let the reading commence.
Players talking to themselves:
Sometimes players have to talk to themselves in different roles. The less players there are, the more that happens. For The Tempest:
- No player has to talk to themselves in the casting for 9 or 10 players
- In the casting for 8:
Player 2 talks to themselves once in A5S1
Player 5 talks to themselves once in A5S1
The best way of avoiding confusion when this happens, is to use different voices for different characters.
If you haven’t got enough people to read the whole play, you can read a couple of scenes. The scenes we’ve pre-configured, which you can see in the sidebar to the right are:
- A2S2: Caliban discovers new gods (when he meets Trinculo and Stephano) : 3 players
- A3S2: Friends fall out (when Ariel tricks the drunks): 4 players
When you’ve read the play or scene, there’s a number of things you can do:
Give us feedback (good or bad) about your play-reading by posting on Players-Shakespeare.com’s Facebook page
Choose another piece for 2, 3, 4, or more players to read from: Playreadings for 2 players
Choose another play to read from: Playreadings of Complete Plays
If you want to understand better how to use our MFFEV5 CloudReader, read:
- Preparing Malvolio for Performance using MFFEV5 CloudReader and Parts and Cues