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What Players-Shakespeare.com does

What we want to do:

We think that Shakespeare’s plays are in a class of their own, and are worth exploring by anyone with an interest in human nature, English literature, or theatre. The best way of exploring them, in our view, is by experiencing them: by seeing them performed; by playing them yourselves; by play-reading them; and by exploring characters and situations in the plays. We help you set up your own play-reading group to do this. Find out how at:

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How we help you playread Shakespeare.

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Players-Shakespeare.com publishes an edition of Shakespeare’s plays on the web and in epub format, with innovative features that helps you experience the plays in just those ways.

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We hope our web-site will be used by people to explore Shakespeare’s plays to experience; the emotion and thoughts of a character ; the interplay of different characters as they interact together in a scene; and the  story of the play, the development of the characters in the play through a play-reading of the play with friends..

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Our emphasis is on experiencing the plays by playing, rather than studying. To  allow you to do this,  we provide a number of innovative features:

  • Let’s Explore: we make it easy for you to explore a character’s emotions and thoughts by speaking their monologues or soliloquies out loud. Often, it is helpful to read these speeches in ‘Parts and Cues’ mode, where only the character’s lines, and the cue for those lines, are shown.
  • Let’s Play:  this allows a few friends (2, 3, or 4, or more) to get together and play some scenes from a play together. This involves everyone speaking their lines out loud.
  • Playreadings:  we encourage people to get together for a few hours with their friends (somewhere between 6 and 12 people is usually best) and to read the play out loud. This is rather like a book club, except instead of talking about the book, we play the play, and then discuss it.
  • Help with play-readings: there is extensive help with play-reading, including:
    • Help with getting started with play-reading
    • How to run a play-reading
    • Help pages and videos on how to use our edition
    • Play-reading reports of play-readings undertaken by us and others.
  • Watching other interpretations: as well as playing Shakespeare yourselves, we help you watch others do the same:
    • Video Readings:   soliloquies and scenes with the voices of the Edinburgh Shakespeare play-reading group and others, with the text of the scene displayed.
    • Streaming Shakespeare productions: shows that you can steam to your TV or PC from The Globe Theatre in London; the RSC; and others, with reviews of the shows provided by us.

Now you’ve got an idea of what we do, you’ve got a choice:

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If you want to see how we use these features for a particular play, why don’t you have a look at our latest version of Macbeth,  released on 28th June. It uses pretty well all the features outlined above.  We’ll be play-reading it in September, and we hope a few other groups will play-read it as well. You’ve got enough time to get a group of 8 – 10 people together; try out Let’s Explore and Let’s Play, before the play-reading. Click on the following link to see an Introduction to latest version of Macbeth.

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 Alternatively, the innovative features we’ve outlined above, are supported by a number off sections of the web-site. Links to those various sections, and what they support are shown below:

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What  we provide:

Shakespeare’s plays:

The plays we have published are shown on our Home Page, with an introduction to our Help System, and what you can do with each play.  At the time of writing, we have published around half of Shakespeare’s plays, and those highlit in blue are in our latest edition, with an index which provides access to the main features you can use with each play. We aim to publish around eight plays a year.

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Innovative Tools:

This page provides an introduction to the main tools we provide which support: Let’s Explore; Let’s Play; Cast Lists (for Play-reading); Parts and Cues (to let a player see only their lines and their cues; Highlight text (to let a player see the whole script with their part(s) highlit in different colours); Video Readings; Making your own Let’s Play and video readings (primarily for drama teachers / directors / play-reading group organizers). the Play Index, which provides access to these features for each play.
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Get started play-reading

If you want to start a play-reading group,this page provides an introduction to how you might go about it, and the tools and help we offer to help you on your way.

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How to run a playreading

This page shows you the three main steps you need to take to run a playreading, including: selecting the play and the players; finding a suitable location to run the play-reading; and what you do at the actual play-reading.

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Playreading reports

You can learn a lot by reading about the play-readings that other groups have run. This page lets you read  different play-reading reports
Reports and other play-reading related posts (clic on the pic to get to the play-reading report you want to read).

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Shakespeare play production reviews

We provide reviews of Shakespeare productions which you can watch at home on your PC or your TV. There are two main pages:

Reviews of Globe productions (The Globe is a theatre, based in London, which is a replica of the Elizabethan theatre that many of Shakespeare’s plays were firstt performed in, and their productions tend to be fairly similar to the way we think Elizabethan plays were produced.

Reviews of the Globe and other Shakespeare productions which we think are of the best of their kind, and are available for streaming or on DVD, so that you can watch them at home.

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We hope this overview of our objectives, and the support we offer to meet that objective, will encourage you to start exploring Shakespeare’s plays, using our  innovative features to help you with that exploration.

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Let’s play!

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Richard Forsyth
‘The Director’
Players-Shakespeare.com

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.

 

4 Responses to "What Players-Shakespeare.com does"

  • Michael Whitaker
    June 26, 2017 - 8:08 am Reply

    Hello,
    I recently came across you on the internet and wondered if you would be interested in a play that I helped Shakespeare write called The Falstaff Chronicles. Basically I have taken extracts from the four plays in which Falstaff is featured and with some additional material of my own, created a Shakespearean adaptation which I hope you might want to use. It was performed very successfully last year and is now in book form, published by Amazon.
    Even if you don’t or can’t use it, perhaps you could put the word around and someone might want to produce it. There would be no fee for using it as my main interest is seeing the play performed more widely.
    Best wishes,
    Michael Whitaker – teacher, scriptwriter and actor.

    • Richard Forsyth
      June 26, 2017 - 9:58 am Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Great idea. If you send me a copy in electronic form, preferrably epub or pdf, I’d be happy to have a look at it, and see what we can do to review or publish it (if that’s OK with Amazon).

      To get in contact, probably the best way is to ‘like’ our Facebook page, and then I can contact you on Messenger to give you my email address, so you can send me a copy.

      Our Facebook page address is:
      https://www.facebook.com/playersshakespeare/

      Best,

      Richard Forsyth

  • Andrea Hasse
    June 26, 2017 - 2:37 pm Reply

    I have a Masters in Directing for theatre and directed Shakespeare plays with students in a Secondary Academy . I am retired and interested in connecting with others who share an interest in Shakespeare plays.

    • Richard Forsyth
      June 26, 2017 - 5:44 pm Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      We don’t (yet) offer much of a service for people to connect.

      However, our Facebook page is beginning to become quite chatty, and almost by definition that means the people there (around 600) are interested in Shakespeare plays, and I hope, are interested in play-reading (and directing) them.

      Our Facebook page is at:
      https://www.facebook.com/playersshakespeare/

      If you go to that link, and click on the ‘Like’ button, just below the picture of Shakespeare getting ready to party, on the left-hand-side, you’ll get kept up-to-date with most of what goes on at our Facebook page,

      Best,

      Richard Forsyth

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