Shakespeare Meets the Tablet

For the last 400 years, students have studied Shakespeare by reading the text, often struggling with the complexity of the language. Shakespeare wrote his plays to be watched, not read. How can we retain the value of the written text, but increase immediate understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare’s work?

The WordPlayTM Shakespeare Series solves this 400-year-old problem by putting Shakespeare’s words and a filmed performance side by side. Professional Shakespearean actors in effect walk onto the page, illuminating and reinforcing the text. The reader gets the best of both worlds.

The WordPlayTM Shakespeare series exploits the capabilities of tablet computers, by bringing text and film together on the same page, while also offering a series of supporting educational features, including:

A full modern translation “behind the page”

Scene by scene synopses of each play

Pop up character reminders (Macbeth onwards)

Note taking functions

Social Media sharing capabilities

Full text searches

Introducing WordPlay Shakespeare

Recent WordPlay Shakespeare Reviews

In a great review of our WordPlay Shakespeare series, the Chicago Tribune comments - “Splitting the play up into these digestible chunks makes it easy to understand the emotion and intent behind every word.” More.


“This enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students. ... a granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play...” More

Tremendously grateful to Avid Reader Blogger Melissa, for a beautiful review of our WordPlay Shakespeare - Thanks Melissa! More

We’re in the blogosphere once again, with a wonderful review of the WordPlay Shakespeare series. Cool Mom Tech (an invaluable education resource for parents) says, “This is a totally immersive, interactive learning experience, allowing kids to read, watch, pause, replay, and read again. Brilliant.” We love it! More.

In a generous and extremely complimentary full page article, the New York Times’ Charles Isherwood explains why the WordPlay Shakespeare series works so well - amongst other things, it’s “ clean, well produced, and easy to use.” More.

“Reading through a new-to-you Shakespeare play can be daunting, and even downright confusing. That’s why the staff was so excited to learn about WordPlay Shakespeare. More.

Recent Blog Posts from The New Book Press

Edutopia’s Suzy Boss reviews our WordPlay Shakespeare series, and interviews middle school teacher Diane Gilbert at Kelly Mill Middle School, SC, to get an on-the-ground perspective. Thoughtful and carefully reported. More.

The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy thoroughly, and favorably, reviews the WordPlay Shakespeare series, saying, amongst other things: “...the active experience of reading, watching, and listening to Shakespeare all at once was invigorating and useful, as likely or more likely to produce understanding of Shakespeare’s play than other, more familiar media versions and textual apparatus.”

The Globe Theatre will take Hamlet to North Korea. Does Hamlet plot to kill his murderous uncle? Yes. Did Kim Jong-Un kill (purge) his uncle. Yes. Perhaps that’s where the similarities end. More.

A really fun little article that looks at how words have changed - both in their written form, and pronunciation - over time. Definitely worth a read! More.

Sir Trevor Nunn makes the case that Shakespeare’s works are “100 times more relevant today than the bible.” Thoughts? More.

When you think “Swagger”, you think Jay-Z. Think again. Yet another word coined by Shakespeare. More.

China’s National Theatre brings Richard III to NYU’s Skirball Center. Shakespeare in Mandarin! More.

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival will put on one of Shakespeare’s less frequently produced plays, Timon of Athens, starting April 25th. A modern adaptation originally produced for the Oregon Shakespeare festival by Kenneth Cavander (the play will be set in New York City) it will be in modern English. More.

A useful recap of a lengthy discussion about the origins and evolution of one of the most iconic scenes in the Shakespearean canon. More.

Probably not - but in case you were wondering, yes - it’s a mash up of Hamlet and Batman. More.

Ben Brantley provides a very favorable review of Theatre for a New Audience’s second Lear in quick succession. More.

A superb piece in the New York Times on the role of dance in Shakespeare’s plays - a fascinating and important theme. More.

A marvelous new series from The Guardian which will solicit reader opinions (under the expert eye of theatre critic Michael Billington) as to their favorite (or favourite, if you’re English!) productions of various Shakespeare plays. A fantastic resource since people speak from the heart - and explain why they feel the way they do. More.

Yes. The Earl of Oxford is back! More.

Heartbreaking and inspiring. As the New York Times’ Ben Hubbard puts it, Syrian children who are already well-acquainted with tragedy, now put on, in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, a performance of Shakespeare’s Lear (with a little Hamlet thrown in for good measure.) More.

The New York Times suggests trying new applications - specifically WordPlay Shakespeare - to help students understand and enjoy Shakespeare. More.

Benedict Cumberbatch will play Richard III in the Neal Street Productions version for TV. Should be interesting. More.