Shakespeare Play Goes Live In Facebook News Feeds

Over the next three days, a group of actors will be playing Shakespeare's classic Much Ado About Nothing live on your Facebook news feed.

This one seems to be a Facebook first: today, April 26, at 4 pm Pacific Standard Time and until April 28, a modern remake of Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing will be presented in real time on Facebook.

Besides the obvious artistic merit of this social media experiment, the project seems to be smart on a variety of levels: for one, it will bring awareness and Facebook fans to the initiative’s two sponsors, literary magazine Read and youth nonprofit The Ophelia Project.

At the same time, it might bring new audiences to an old classic, while shedding light on an important and current Facebook issue: privacy and deception.

In case you need a refresher on this particular Shakespeare play, here’s Read‘s plot synopsis, without any spoilers:

Much Ado is a romantic comedy that showcases villainy at its most vicious as an innocent girl’s repuation is damaged by lies and deception. The play also features the memorable characters of Beatrice and Benedick, who start out at each other’s throats and then act out a romantic plot of their own.

For the past few days, each character on the play has been populating a Facebook profile — check out Beatrice and Benedick‘s, for example.

The interactivity of the experience is heightened, of course, because fans are able to comment and like” ach characters’ actions and updates, in addition to being able to watch the play from a variety of perspectives. Once you’re connected to the characters and the narrators of the play (Read and The Ophelia Project), you’re all set.

To get the “full theater experience,” organizers ask that you “like” every character’s Facebook profile and that you change your news feed settings to show posts from “all your friends and pages.” This might be a cool little trick for other Facebook developers who are looking for smart ways to make sure they appear on their customers’ news feeds: give them a good and fun reason to do so.

What do you think about this literary Facebook project — will work as an advertising vehicle?