What do you do when you desperately need to practice your lines for an upcoming audition or performance, and there’s no acting partner available to help you get off book–not even your little brother? Many an actor has had to tough it out alone. But these days thespians have high-tech options available to them to memorize their lines, and play around with various character readings.

Most recently, the tableread app is available to help actors on their acting quest. But the app was originally inspired by a producer and animation director named Dan Conway who decided to attempt scriptwriting; he soon found himself wishing he could hear his scripts without all the trouble of assembling several actors to do a tablereading. As a result, he rolled up his sleeves and set out to create an app that enables writers, cast and crew members to import a screenplay or teleplay in .pdf form to their iPad or iPhone, and then be able to listen to the scripts with automatically assigned character voices based on gender and prevalence. The app features a collection of over forty customizable voices as well as the ability to add musical scores to the scripts. Additionally, users can send and receive notes.

For those of you who are likewise interested in writing scripts, tableread features a way to “host” your script within the app’s network, allowing other users to hear your written scripts in order to gain exposure.

An Android version of the app is expected to be released later this year.

Similar apps exist on the market that enable you to listen to your lines, and to leave gaps in the recording so you can recite your lines in context. For example, Rehearsal 2 was created by a working Hollywood actor, David H. Lawrence XVII, and allows you to upload a script as a .pdf, record any number of versions of scenes with different takes on lines, and is ready for you to review them before an audition or performance.

Scene Partner likewise is an app that allows you to import a script, or you can choose an e-Script from Music Theatre International, Samuel French or Dramatists Play Service for additional fees. It comes with listen-and-record as well as text-to-speech features.

Another actor-friendly app is LineLearner which helps actors learn their lines “as easily as you learn a catchy song;” however, a reviewer says you need to record your voice reading your lines or script to benefit from the app.

Have you ever tried any of these actor apps? Did you find them helpful, or do you still prefer rehearsing the old-fashioned way?

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