The Play’s the Thing

Haven’t Read a Play since High School?

Join Our Club

One of the Few

You’re not alone.
Three out of four 
adult Americans reads at least one book a year.

Fewer than
one in a thousand
ever reads a play!

Why Not?

There are so many reasons, from simple unawareness (“Who reads plays?”) and “Plays are written for the stage!” to our cultural disdain for the wholly human art of Theatre itself—all examined and debunked by CR/I and countered by as many more profound and startling arguments in favor. (See Why Read Plays?)


For starters, Science proves beyond all doubt:

Reading Aloud
is Good for the

And what better to read aloud than a play?

A play’s a novel with no narrator; just people (characters) engaged in conversation (dialogue).

Tailor-made for quality time with friends.

Simple, Laid-Back, Fun-Filled, and Rewarding Entertainment—Free of Charge

A cold read is a parlor game, like playing cards or Clue. We play (a play on words) a play; we read the lines we’re dealt, in turn, to tell ourselves a story.  As we read, we talk about it and ourselves, the world—we socialize. Sometimes we’re hilarious, other times profoundly moved. Like any game, the more we play, the better we get. Unlike most, everybody wins.

Anyone can read anywhere, for twenty minutes to three (or more) hours, with any one or two to a dozen friends (or total strangers). Simply download a play and start reading. Tips and guidelines on selecting plays, acquiring scripts, and gathering a group are posted in How It Happens, along with protocols for convivial reading.

How EasyWE DON’T ACT. We simply read, assuming roles regardless of gender, age, or type, and double up for crowd scenes, swap around so everybody reads.
WE DON’T REHEARSE. We read “cold,” finding out what happens as we go.
NO PREP, NO CLEAN-UP. All you need is a digital reader (tablet, laptop, smart phone).
TIME AN ISSUE? Start out with a 10-minute play.

And That’s Not All

Cold reads enhance our lives in many very different ways. We exercise and improve our comprehensive reading skills, elocution, conversation, as we come to appreciate literary Drama (Poetry and/or Prose as dialog) and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and humankind. By doing it together, we share a common literary bond. We exercise our collective imagination, gain insights into other times and places, walk in other people’s shoes, and discover that playwrights are as literary, wise, and witty as novelists, as lyrical as poets, and we take pride in dropping their names at parties. We Know Drama.

The Time is NOW

For the first time in human history, reading plays aloud in groups is free and easy, thanks to the internet. Think about that. (See E-Reading.)

The Time was WHEN

For the first two thousand years of western civilization, plays were how most people learned about the world! (They couldn’t read.) The profound and lasting impact of live theatre on the world we know is addressed the theatre in Plays on Stage.

Poetry, Prose, and Drama

Three-Legged Stool 2Plays are one of the fundamental forms of creative writing. By the time people learned to read, Dickens was writing novels (prose), which they read avidly at home (often aloud, to the family), but they still went to the theater for Drama. Why read plays? They played parlor games instead, read poetry and prose. Then the movies came along. Play reading never caught on, and we became dramatically illiterate.

Most of what we read these days is prose; poetry is rarely read but omnipresent in our ears (song lyrics), but unless we go to the theatre (and we don’t), We Don’t Know Drama.

It’s All Inside

This site explores these and other personal and societal benefits of reading cold in Why Read Plays?). If you need more convincing, start there.

About Us explains exactly who we are, what we do, and how we do it (with lots of options), and it urges people everywhere to do likewise—download scripts from our growing catalog, post feedback, and join our revolutionary grassroots movement.

Tabs beneath the banner at the top of every page open pages that address the topic; hover over the tabs to reveal sub-topics. Internal links, Categories, Search, and other functions are addressed in Navigation Tips.

So Do It!

Just for fun, if nothing else. If you like it, do it again (and again). You owe it to yourself to give it a try.

And after you read, if you have time, post us some Feedback.

If it gets to be a habit, Start a Group.

Better still, Join CR/I, and spread the word.

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions or suggestions, post a Comment, or contact us at

When People Gather to Read Plays
as Often as They do to Pray (or Play)
the World Will Be a Better Place to live




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Unrehearsed Discoveries of Great Plays

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