Dramatic Readings and Plays

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By catrose Plays are great fun to do, here at LibriVox -- it's a wonderful way of involving the wide range of voices our global membership can boast. However, the way they work is slightly different to other readings at Librivox. Dramatic projects on Librivox come in two main forms: plays and dramatic readings

Differences between Dramatic Projects and Other Projects

The main difference between dramatic projects and, say, group projects is that in a dramatic project, you claim a character instead of a character and YOU ONLY READ THE LINES OF THAT CHARACTER. You need a different file per Act (or sometimes Chapter)and you don't need to read the disclaimer. Also, most parts in Dramatic Projects are smaller than chapters, but the projects generally take longer.

As I mentioned above, there are two types of Dramatic Project:


Well, plays are plays! They are linked to a script as the source and you read off the script listed under Source on the first post (same as a book) unless it states otherwise. Instead of claiming a chapter (or Act), you only claim a character. And you only record lines for that one character. You don't need to read the stage directions or what's in the brackets, you just read what an actor would perform if he was given the play to perform. It really is that straight forward. You start by saying [Character Name] read by [your name] and example of this would be Silvius read by Charlotte Duckett. You don't read the disclaimer. Then you record your lines. Generally you need to leave 2-5 seconds silence between each line. This makes it easier for when the BC is editing the final scene together.

Dramatic Readings

A Dramatic Reading is like a solo project, except different people read for each character. Most scripts for these are Google Documents (though some people do use PDFs.) Other than that, it is almost exactly the same as a play. You only read what your character says. In ones that are color coded, these lines are the ones that are your characters colors (it says so on the top of the Google document) or, in the case of Circe, in the MW. Easy.

How do you tell?

Well, this question is fairly easy to answer. It's in the title! In the Dramatic Works Forum, if it says Dramatic Reading, Dram. Reading, Dram. Read. ect. it's a Dramatic Reading, if it doesn't it's almost certainly a play!

Cat's Top Tip

The best friend of every Dramatist at LV is the F3 key. It allows you to search for a specific word or phrase in a piece of text. If you're looking at a script, press it and type in your characters name to find lines more easily!

Step By Step- Your first role in a Play

Here is my step to step guide to claiming a part, finding the text, recording and uploading your first part in a play:

1. Click on a play

- It may sound simple- it is! Before you click on it, make sure it's Open (there are parts left to claim). This is said in the Title, for example [OPEN] The Skin Game by John Gallsworthy- tg (as apposed to [FULL] DOCTOR FAUSTUS by Christopher Marlowe - ek)

2. Please read the first post Carefully

- If you are interested, the first post will tell you more. Like on any other project, it has notes about the tech settings and it tells you a bit about the play.

3. Still interested?

- Well then, take a look at the characters. Look at the script. Any stand out? You claim them in the same way as you claim a chapter. It is generally appreciated if you include the section number in you claim (eg. "Can I please claim 03- Jill?" or "Can I please read Jill (03)?" ) Nothing stand out? Why don't you ask "Can you suggest any role for me?" ? All Drama BCs are incredibly nice helpful(not at all Diva-ish!)people and know the play inside out, so most of the time, they'll be happy to suggest a part that would suit your voice! Please don't do this for very large Dram. Projects like Circe, because there are over 150 parts, and most are small, so you should be able to choose.

5. The BC Responds

- After you've claimed a part, the BC puts your name down for that part, just like in a group recording. Then it's up to you to record your lines. Remember to look at the MW notes to see what Acts your character appears in.

6. Recording Your lines

- You only need to read the lines that YOUR CHARACTER SAYS. Leave about 2-5 seconds between each line, which makes it easier for the BC (or Editer) to edit together the finished acts. You also need to say [character] recorded (or read) by [Your Name] for example Silvius read by Charlotte Duckett, or Frances recorded by Charlotte Duckett. Normally files need to be saved as MP3, but occasionally a BC will want FLAC instead. Always check the first post for more details.

7. Uploading

- Well, you're almost done! You need to save your file under the file name in the first post (example. asyoulikeit_silvius_4 ) and you upload it to the MC's folder (again, on the first post).

8. Posting

- You need to copy the link you're given as you upload, and post the link as a reply in the project thread, as in a group project. After this, it'll be put in the MW and PL'd.

9.PL Notes

- If you get PL notes that you don't understand, just PM the BC or DPL and ask them about it.

10. PL OK

- Well, you've got a PL OK! You need to get all of the acts uploaded separately and once they're all there and PL OK, congratulations. You've just read your first part in a Dramatic project. Now you just need to sit back and listen to the applause!