Virtual Shakespeare & Friends Aloud

Virtual Shakespeare Aloud

You are invited to join us for our next season of Shakespeare & Friends Aloud! In addition to reading the works of Shakespeare, we’ll also be covering his friends and contemporaries, like Christopher Marlowe, John Fletcher, Thomas Kyd, and others. Community members are warmly invited to participate as readers or as audience members using the Zoom videoconferencing platform.

Join us

To participate in the next reading, register below.


After registering, you'll receive a reminder email on the day of the reading with your Zoom invitation link, as well as information about choosing your character (optional). Click the Zoom invitation link ( at 4:00 p.m. PT on the day of the reading to join fellow Shakespeare fans on Zoom.

For our previous participants, please note that you must register via the link above in order to receive the Zoom link.

All readings take place at 4:00 p.m. PT. Join 15 minutes early for a "how-to" on using Zoom. Character selection will not take place until 4:00 pm. Readings will last approximately 90 minutes. Everyone is welcome! All voice, all dialects. No experience or audition is required. Shakespeare and Friends Aloud is intended to be a fun exploration of Elizabethan and Jacobian drama, so bring your sense of humor!

Do I need to download Zoom?

If you do not have Zoom downloaded on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click the link to join the meeting. You may also download Zoom for free here.

Do I need to have an account?
You do not need to have an account to join a meeting. You may create one if you like.

Where can I learn more about Zoom?
We recommend the Quick Start Guide for new users. There you will be able to join a test meeting and try out Zoom before our virtual reading event.

Where can I find Shakespeare-themed backgrounds for Zoom?
Right click on any of the images below and choose “Save Image As” to save it to your computer. Open your Zoom meeting-app, visit your Preferences, then choose Virtual Backgrounds. Click the “+” next to Choose Virtual Background to upload your images and set your background.


Reading Schedule

  • September 28, 2023 - No Reading

The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd
The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd, a contemporary of Shakespeare, established a new genre in English Theater with “the revenge play.” The play weaves a web of interconnected characters faced with tragic loss, illicit love affairs, murder, vengeance, and revenge. Full text.

  • October 19, 2023 - The Spanish Tragedy (cont. Act III, Scene XIII) 
  • October 26, 2023 - NO READING THIS WEEK

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a retelling of the background goings-on of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, from the point of view of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Most famously described by the author as “about two courtiers at Elsinor,” Stoppard uses the antics of the two titular characters in his tragicomedy to draw on themes of absurdity, free will, fate, and existentialism. Full text [PDF].

  • November 2, 2023 - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  • November 9, 2023 - NO READING THIS WEEK
  • November 16, 2023 - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Cont.)
  • November 23, 2023 - NO READING THIS WEEK
  • November 30, 2023 - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (cont.)

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare
Through the heavy-handed machinations of a ghostly specter, a twisted tale of revenge unfolds as Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, embarks on a dark and terrifying journey of revenge, murder, and madness. Full text.

  • December 7, 2023 - The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark By William Shakespeare 
  • December 14, 21, 28 - NO READINGS THESE WEEKS
  • January 4, 2024 - The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Cont.)
  • January 11, 2024 -  The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Cont.) 

Shakespeare Aloud is provided in collaboration with the Long Beach Public Library 

Long Beach Public Library logo
Globe Theatre
Anne Hathaway Cottage, interior
Anne Hathaway cottage, exterior
Flowers of Winter
Stratford upon Avon
Romeo and Juliet balcony in Verona, Italy
Shakespeare's birthplace
Shakespeare's birthplace, exterior
The Great Garden
Old Globe Theatre in San Diego
Tudor house and garden