Acquire a Script

Quick Link to Cold Reads Catalog

Thumb Rule

There needs at least to be one script for every major role in the play’s most populous French scene. (A French scene occurs whenever a character enters a scene or leaves the stage.)

Ideally, each reader present should have a script, to follow along when they’re not “on.”

Standard Sources

Customarily, since the digital revolution, readers download scripts to tablets. Luddites must still buy or borrow, beg, or steal (or print out) paper copies, or share with someone else. (Or listen).

Public Domain

Anyone can download any play published before 1923, and some few since (Waiting doe Godot, for instance—and Hamilton. 2500 years of dramatic literature is literally at out fingertips, no strings attached. A few suggested sources are found in blog posts, Category: Acquisitions.  Otherwise, simply search on line for a play’s title (in quotes) with key words like “full text” or “PDF” (the typical format), maybe “download.”

[NOTE to Host: make sure every reader downloads the same edition/translation.]


Most modern plays, on the other hand, are under copyright, and (legally) must be purchased (or borrowed), which can get expensive—not to mention the frustration of a dozen readers trying to find copies of the same edition at the library or book store.

On-line bookstores sell anthologies of four to fifty plays for anywhere from a penny (plus S&H) to fifty bucks (a dollar a play) as long as they’re in stock. Photocopies (legal ones) average under a dime a page, which can mount up depending on the page format (see Printing Tips). Readers who can’t afford scripts rely on the pocket change of those with pocket change to spare.

Cold Reads Digital Collection

Through the years Cold Reads/Charlotte has amassed a library of nearly 300 scripts, over half of which are available for digital download free of charge, posted in Category: Current Scripts, under a range of sub-topics  Or click Catalog (left sidebar) for an alphabetical list (by playwright).  We’ll add more, the more we read. Feel free to share yours.

PLEASE NOTE:  Most modern scripts (since 1923) are copyright-protected, and require a password. Click Password Request (sidebar) to declare your intention to read the play one time, aloud, in a small group, with no audience, no money changing hands.  Since our goal is to regenerate public interest in theatre by reading plays, we hope to justify fair use of copyrighted material. You will receive the word within a day or three.

Please don’t abuse this privilege.
You may be legally liable.

Any suggestions? Questions?

Continue to Schedule a Read.


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Reading Plays with Friends for Fun and Cultural Enrichment

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