Post by Sonia Massai, Professor of Shakespeare Studies
Performance Shakespeare 2016 is a digital platform that captures performances of Shakespeare worldwide from January 1 to December 31, 2016. It gathers information about the theatres, companies, productions, audiences, policies and people involved in presenting Shakespeare in the anniversary year.
This digital platform will be the first of its kind and has great potential as a research tool for international artists, scholars, students and cultural organization. It will be launched early in summer 2016.
Each entry on this platform will include information about the companies, the creative teams, the productions, venues, audience data and funding. The range of materials will encompass production videos and photographs, marketing (programmes, press packs, video trailers, posters, social media) and interviews. Popular and critical responses such as reviews, blogs and academic articles will also be archived.
Contextual information for each entry will include an overview of the production and reception of Shakespeare locally and regionally. This addresses Shakespeare’s presence in institutions (schools, universities, repertory theatres) and popular culture as well as familiarity with Shakespeare. Entries will look at other local writers, poets and playwrights who share cultural recognition and popularity with Shakespeare in each region covered by Shakespeare 2016.
All entries will offer a template of key information in English, but deep content will be in the original language(s).
Susan Bennett (University of Calgary, Canada) and Sonia Massai (King’s College London) are leading this project and working with academics and theatre professionals nationally and internationally to build this digital platform.
Jess Nicol (University of Calgary) is assisting with the setting up of the platform and Rowena Hawkins, Shana Krisiloff, and Aimee Morris (King’s College London) are sourcing materials and curating entries to ensure comprehensive coverage. The project is supported by Shakespeare 400 and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.