Internet Shakespeare Editions

Paper prepared for the Shakespeare Association of America, 1999.
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A Mazèd World

Connecting, Selecting and Internetting Shakespeare Performances

  1. The contents of this paper
  2. Related sites
  3. Abstract

    The contents of this paper

    ... will be continuously under construction until April Fool's Day, 1999.

    Please visit the Theater of the Internet Shakespeare Editions, where sample production materials have been made available to illustrate some of the points in the discussion that follows.

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    Abstract

    ...the mazèd world,
    By their increase, now knows not which is which.
    (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.1.114)

    The connection between Shakespeare studies and performance has the potential to enrich both the study of literature and the production of new performances. Students of literature will gain insight into the multiple meanings of the text, and will see how the text is reinterpreted according to changes in taste and culture; directors and actors will have access both to earlier performances, and to the textual histories that lie behind the plays they are reinterpreting.

    This paper/presentation will explore some of the potential in developing an Internet site that interconnects scholarly texts and materials with a database of performance records; it will also address some of the challenges involved in providing elegant access to the records. An experimental site in the Annex of the Internet Shakespeare Edition will offer some illustration of possible ways of displaying, cataloguing, and interconnecting performance materials, using a recent production of Romeo and Juliet at the Phoenix Theatre, University of Victoria. The paper will address these questions:

    • What kinds of materials should be collected?
    • What kinds of materials can be collected, given the constraints of copyright?
    • How will materials be selected for posting on the site?
    • How can the site preserve data in a continually changing technology?
    • How can the site best manage a potentially enormous range of data?
    • How old is Friar Lawrence, anyway?
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