Lazy Bee Scripts
Video Conference Readings

Video Conference Play Readings - Help / Frequently Asked Questions

Video conferencing became very popular from March 2020, with theatres dark and many people locked-down at home.
The most common platform is Zoom, but other video conferencing systems are available and work in approximately the same way.
There are two major types of video conference play reading:

  • A play reading within a closed group (where members of the group read to one another).  You can either do this using the on-line text (free of charge) or buy Master Scripts for Copying and distribute the scripts to your group before the video conference.
  • A play reading with an external audience - for which you will need the scripts and you will incur a performance rights fee

Reading the on-line text is free of charge.
Reading the on-line text in a video call is free of charge, provided that there is no audience other than the readers.
There are some technological challenges to doing this [see below for more thoughts] but there are broadly two options:

  • All users join the call, then, in a browser window, navigate to the on-line text.  This way each group member is looking at "their own" copy of the script, or
  • The call host navigates to the on-line text, then shares the view of their browser with the whole of the conference call.
Closed-group reading using Master Scripts for Copying

If you're doing a closed-group play reading where readers want a physical copy of the script (this is likely to be essential if some of the readers are joining the call by phone), then the best way is likely to be to purchase Master Scripts for Copying and distribute copies to the group members.  For this purpose, it is probably best to distribute the "Producer's Copy" of the script as that is easier to print than the "Cast Copy".  (The Cast Copy is designed as a booklet format, and can be confusing to print!)
You will need to buy Master Scripts for Copying, but, for a closed-group reading, there is no performance rights fee (we treat this in the same way as we treat workshops), so on our buying video rights page, select the "Private Video Conference Play Reading" option from the performance section.

You will need Master Scripts for Copying in order to have scripts for your readers.
A reading with an audience (other than the readers) is a performance and, as such will incur a performance rights fee, for which we have a specific ordering system which applies a discount to our standard performance rights fees.  For more information, see this help page.

Technological Challenges

Where we display scripts on-line, the text is optimised for computers or tablets, not for phones.  Reading the on-line text on a phone is possible, but difficult.  Mobile phones are (usually) not able to display multiple app windows symultaneously.  Consequently, we do not recommend using the on-line text for a closed-group readings using phones.  (Instead, purchase Master Scripts for Copying.)
Displaying a browser window, showing the script text, along side a Zoom (video conference) window is practical on a PC or Mac with a reasonable monitor, but probably impractical for a tablet.  If your reading group includes tablet users, then it's probably better to go for the "call host shares a view of their browser" option if you're taking the free approach and reading the on-line text.  
The free version of Zoom has a limit of 40 minutes for any conference call (involving more than two people).  Consequently, if you're using that version, you need to select scripts with a shorter run-time (or split the reading over multiple calls).
Our script search engine includes the ability to search by run time.


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