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

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare
Cymbeline’s second wife, The Queen, plots to murder both Cymbeline and his only daughter, Imogen, so that her son, Cloten, Cymbeline’s stepson, can take the throne instead.  As the Vassal King of Britain’s only daughter, Imogen is expected to produce a royal-blooded heir. But once it is discovered that she has secretly married her lover instead, Cymbeline dismisses their marriage, and banishes the lover, Posthumous, causing a series of unfortunate events to unfold. Join us in our reading of William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, as we bring a tale of forbidden love, mistaken identities, court intrigue, conspiracy, revenge, and a dash of Happily Ever After, to life! Full text

  • March 21, 2024 - NO READING
  • March 28, 2024 - Cymbeline by William Shakespeare
  • April 4, 2024 - Cymbeline (Cont.)
  • April 11, 2024 - Cymbeline (Cont.)
  • April 18, 2024 - NO READING
  • April 25, 2025 - NO READING 


Tis a Pity She’s A… by John Ford
Jacobean playwright John Ford's play, shockingly controversial for its time, tells a tale of forbidden love, court intrigue, revenge, and betrayal, revolving around the forbidden relationship, and ultimately tragic downfall, of Giovanni and Annabella. A story entertainingly comparable to his contemporary, William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Full text.

  • May 2, 2024 - Tis a Pity She’s A… By John Ford
  • May 9, 2024 - NO READING
  • May 16, 2024 - Tis a Pity She’s A… (Cont.) 


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