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:
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.
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..
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:
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.
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:
What we provide:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.