All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players
--As You Like It, Act II
We are Shakespeare lovers of varied backgrounds: actors and non-actors; teachers and baristas, retirees and programmers; people who read Shakespeare all the time and people who haven’t read him in many years. Some of us can do spot-on accents, some can sing, and some are very gifted performers; many of us just gamely read our lines as best we can, and with the best will in the world.
No acting experience is required; just a willingness to read aloud and appreciate Shakespeare’s language. Try it out—we're a friendly group! The beauty of the language, the insights into our human nature, the humor, compassion, anguish and scope of Shakespeare's work make it a treasure that we return to again and again, finding something new each time.
How to Get Started: RSVP to a particular meetup (and please keep your RSVP up to date; let us know if you can’t attend). Bring a copy of the play, if at all possible. To prepare, reading the play or watching a performance are ideal. Or you can read an introduction or a synopsis. Some of our readers practice at home, to get a feel for the language. Regardless of preparation, there will be some confusing lines, and we often have different editions; in that case, just wing it.
What to Expect from a Readthrough: We read the entire play; it takes most of the afternoon. We start by allocating roles. You can volunteer for a particular role that you want. There are usually twelve to twenty or more readers. The roles with the most lines are usually shared. We usually don't follow gender in determining who reads which role. However, at an event host’s discretion, there may be some occasions when gender is matched for a character. Weather permitting during July and August, we meet outside in Volunteer Park.
How This Meetup Group Is Run: The Seattle Shakespeare (Etc!) Readthrough meetup group has five organizers (Aidan, Hilary, Paul, Barbara, and Kristin). They take turns as “Event Hosts” for the read-throughs. The organizers select plays and library locations, and they update the website information.
How to Use This Web Site: Each meetup date has a place for posting comments about that meetup; these are usually appreciations, greetings, and tips on parking.
If you want to discuss a play or a performance in more depth, or if you want to discuss the group itself, click the “Discussions” menu near the top of the page, and then click “Message Board.”
If you want to find out more about a play (such as lists of characters and how many lines each has), click “More” near the top of the page and then click “Files.”