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There’s a new twist on table-reads during these long, drawn-out days of lockdown: Celebrities are gathering virtually for read-throughs of classic movies and TV episodes to benefit charitable causes. 

Take, for example, the cast of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World which remotely reunited in July for a 10th anniversary table read of the 2010 graphic novel adaptation. The likes of Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Mae Whitman, and Jason Schwartzman playfully performed from their homes in hopes of pulling in donations to benefit the global nonprofit Water for People. Pill informed the viewers before the read, “This pandemic has laid bare the huge gaps in critical infrastructure, and one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease isn’t available to over three billion people. They don’t have clean water, so they aren’t washing their hands; they don’t have sanitation solutions, so diseases can spread quickly.” 

Back in May, the Lizzie McGuire cast reunited for a virtual table-read of an episode titled “Between a Rock and a Bra Place.” “We could not stop laughing reading lines from tween us,” Duff wrote on social media. “This is the first time we were all ‘together-ish’ in almost 18 years!” Viewers were encouraged to donate to Frontline Responders Fund, No Kid Hungry, Baby2Baby, Support and Feed, L.A. Food Bank, and New York Food Bank to help others during the pandemic. Not only did the event benefit good causes, but it was just plain fun. Duff said, “I thought there’s no better way to cure boredom and to provide a little bit of entertainment for everyone who’s stuck at home.”

The effervescent Fran Drescher along with her The Nanny original castmates from the ‘90s likewise made the most of the quarantine by coming together for a table-read of the popular TV show’s pilot episode. Almost two million viewers tuned in to the virtual event. It’s not clear if it was held on behalf of charity.

And most recently, a totally awesome read-through of the 1982 comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High was held remotely to celebrate the movie’s 38th anniversary. Indeed, Sean Penn, who played the chronically stoned surfer Spicoli in the original, was joined by a variety of all-star celebrities including Jennifer ‘Aniston, Dane Cook, Morgan Freeman, Jimmy Kimmel,  Shia LaBeouf, John Legend, Ray Liotta, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts. Committing to the iconic role of Spicoli, LaBeouf had Penn smiling a mile wide during the read. The event was hosted by Dane Cook and presented by the fundraising campaign Feelin’ A-Live for COVID-19 relief. Donations also benefited Reform Alliance, an organization that seeks to reduce the number of individuals who are imprisoned in the U.S. as well as CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort). Presently, CORE offers free drive-through testing for essential workers in California and provides other emergency support systems. Initially, the charity was called J/P Haitian Relief Organization and was founded by Penn who mobilized a network of doctors, emergency workers, and government officials to provide medical care and help rebuild Haiti after the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake. With each passing year and new disaster, the charity offers support to low-income communities who are more likely to suffer when natural disasters occur.

Which table read would you like to view next? Or better yet, which movie or television episode would you like to perform with your fellow thespian friends albeit remotely? Truly, the possibilities are endless, but the technology to make it happen is right at your fingertips. Should you decide to give it a go, feel free to share!