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

The True Chronicle History of King Leir, and his Three Daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella by Unknown
Hailed as a “tragicomedy” and “chronicle history” with a far less tragic ending, The True Chronicle of King Leir and his Three Daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella most likely served as a primary source for William Shakespeare’s tragic play King Lear. Although scholars continue to debate who the original Author(s) were, it has been theorized that Shakespeare’s contemporaries, such as Thomas Kyd, Robert Greene, George Peele, Thomas Lodge, Anthony Munday, and even Shakespeare himself, could have been original contributors. Full text.

  • June 1, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - The True Chronicle History of King Leir, and his Three Daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella Begin reading
  • June 8, 2023 - No Reading
  • June 15, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - The True Chronicle History of King Leir, and his Three Daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella (cont.) Second part

Twelfth Night (or What You Will) by William Shakespeare
A romantic comedy involving a shipwreck, separated twins, mistaken identities, practical jokes, love triangles, and maybe even a happy ending or two. Full text.

  • June 22, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - Twelfth Night (or what you will) Begin reading 
  • June 29, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - Twelfth Night (or what you will) (cont.) Act II, Scene V

King Lear by William Shakespeare 
An aging King plans to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters. After a misunderstanding with his youngest and most favored daughter leads to her banishment, Lear erroneously rewards his two eldest with his Kingdom, only to be betrayed by them in turn. Join us on Thursday as we help bring this timeless and deeply tragic tale of twisted hypocritical deceptions, developing enmity, and profound cruelty, to life. Full text.

  • July 6, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - King Lear Begin reading
  • July 13, 2023 - No Reading
  • July 20, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - King Lear (cont.) Act III, Scene I
  • July 27, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - King Lear (cont.) Act IV, Scene III

Henry VI Part I by William Shakespeare
Henry V is dead, and Henry VI becomes King. As England deals with the loss of their territories in France, political machinations tear apart England’s political system, and the noble houses begin to divide, leading up to the War of the Roses. Full text.

  • August 3, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - Henry VI Part I  Begin reading
  • August 10, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - Henry VI Part I (cont.) Act II, Scene IV
  • August 17, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT - Henry VI Part I (cont.) Act IV, Scene III
  • August 24, 2023 - No Reading
  • August 31, 2023 - No Reading

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