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Archive for the ‘Shakespeare’ Category

Digitizing Shakespeare

In Shakespeare, Theatre, Uncategorized on January 7, 2018 at 8:35 pm


Our world is currently characterized by digitization. On a daily basis we interact with digital tools and properties. However, if we think about digitization in general, we probably think about the big things first: communications (who writes letters these days?), transportation (how many times have we cursed at the computers that make our new cars unfixable with a wrench and a willingness to bark our knuckles), and of course, weapons (drones, anyone?).

But the success of this technology on a large scale has given birth to an almost pathological willingness to experiment on a personal scale. Things we never would have thought needed digital versions – cabs, meals, maps, books, cigarettes, wine – we now can’t imagine in solely analog forms.

Part of this trend is commercial. Entrepreneurs and investors are looking for the proverbial next big thing and who’s to say that isn’t digital underpants that track your menses? Surveys only get you so far. After that you have to take the risk of producing and trying to sell the beeping networked panties of your dreams.

But an arguably more dignified reason for experimenting is the human desire to answer the question “What if?” Read the rest of this entry »

Victorian Shakespeare

In Drama, Shakespeare on July 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm
The Globe

The Globe

When I graduated from university I left with a sense of Victorian times as a desert in the history of Shakespeare productions. Shakespeare at that time, the common wisdom said, was a castrato, sweetened with the surgical removal of the writer’s nasty bits.

It was also an era, the thinking went, during which the words of the playwright were subjugated to a florid, almost choking ornamentation. The set decoration and costume design was vulgar, over the top. A Victorian Shakespearean production was overgrown with irrelevant visual distraction. Shakespeare, the cant went, was meant to be produced as Shakespeare himself produced it: bare bones.

In the intervening years, that belief that Shakespeare was to be stripped down was tested out. In smaller venues, with scrappy companies, his words were given rein. One production in particular comes to mind. The Shotgun Players in the San Francisco Bay Area produced Henry V.[1] The players were clad in all black, with colored sashes alone distinguishing their roles and a bare stage.

Read the rest of this essay on Medium