Shakespeare on Playaway

Looking for a fun way to help some students with required Shakespeare reading? Try Shakespeare on Playaway! Our Playaway Shakespeare titles are all full-cast recordings from SmartPass, the award-winning audio company that makes our SmartPass Guides to Shakespeare. We’re sure the Bard himself would approve! Our Shakespeare titles on Playaway include:

~ King Lear • Romeo and Juliet • Henry V • Macbeth • Twelfth Night • Othello • Hamlet ~

We are proud to announce that the SmartPass Guide to Romeo and Juliet was recently voted by British public as the THIRD best audiobook ever! SmartPass Guides to Shakespeare feature the same great full-cast recordings, paired with helpful guided commentary and a CD-ROM of classroom activities. SmartPass Guides are available on CD or MP3-CD. Try our free sample audio, script, and project below from the SmartPass Guide to Shakespeare for Romeo and Juliet. To hear more audio samples and place an order, go to or

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Class Project
Act 1, Scene 1 script excerpt
Act 1, Scene 1 (part 1) audio ©Recorded Books

Act 1, Scene 1 (part 2) audio ©Recorded Books

For more lesson plans and FREE audio, see our other posts in the FREE AUDIOBOOK LESSON GUIDES category. Let us know what you think!

To download, right click on file names above and choose “Save As,” or listen online through November 1. If you’d like your lesson plan to be featured, send us your idea!

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Shakespeare on Audio

One teacher’s reaction to SmartPass Audio Guides to Shakespeare:

“I love the Smartpass stuff. The characters read more slowly than the commentator, which was really good. And the woman who does the comments has a perfect voice – very British, but casual and humorous. We used several of the project pieces (from the CD-ROM) and they all worked well to keep the students engaged and help them review and ask questions … I’ll definitely recommend this to my department.”—Lee Corey, Cypress Creek High School, English Teacher

SmartPass Audio Guides feature a full-cast narration of the play, a full-cast narration with commentary, and a CD-ROM with projects. You can listen to audio and view project samples at

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Teachers loved Phil Viner at NCTE!

SmartPass creator Phil Viner spoke with teachers at the recent National Conference of Teachers of English and got a great response! Teachers were impressed by the professional quality of the SmartPass recordings and the analysis included in the SmartPass guides, which is compiled by experienced teachers, historians, and dramatists.

Check out audio samples and FREE project samples at SmartPass Audio Guides feature student worksheets and projects and the complete play both with and without interspersed analysis. These unabridged audio presentations are based on complete texts of Shakespeare’s plays, and are a great alternative to watching film versions—students can listen and become engaged in the drama while still reading Shakespeare’s words as he wrote them!


RB booth 2RB boothPhil Viner

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Teaching Shakespeare with SmartPass

The award-winning SmartPass Audio Guides to Shakespeare are exclusively available from Recorded Books. SmartPass creator Phil Viner recently sat with us to discuss the benefits of using audio to teach Shakespeare, and how SmartPass Guides can help engage students in the study of Shakespeare.

Also, check out SmartPass’s home on the web, where you can listen to audio samples and place an order through the Recorded Books website.

Do you use SmartPass or other audio to teach Shakespeare in your classroom? Tell us how it helped you!

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