The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1059 Wednesday, 17 May 2000.
From: Michael Best <
Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2000 17:27:58 -0700
Subject: Beta Testing a "Blocking" Program
Members of the SHAKSPER list are invited to beta test a program that is
designed to encourage students to "block" a scene from one of
Shakespeare's plays, and to submit the result as an assignment.
The program-"Scenario"-presents a mockup of the Globe stage (this bit
still needs some improvement). Students select a scene, then create a
series of "frames" to illustrate short passages from the scene.
Characters, props, and sound effects are available from menus on the
"Director's" palette, and all can be moved around the stage by clicking
and dragging. Most characters can be manipulated to some extent, but
the purpose of the program is to provide a sense of the importance of
space and movement on the stage rather than to create animations. The
student can be encouraged to explain his/her choices by commenting on
them in a "Notes" window, and to provide a summary overview of the
When the scene is complete, it can be saved as a file and sent either on
disk or as an email attachment to the instructor, who then opens it in
the same program. The instructor selects Review mode, and can then make
further comments in a Review window as well as in the summary overview.
Scenario is available in both Windows and Macintosh versions, each a
download of between 2 and 3 Mb. Only one play is provided in the beta
version, Hamlet. The final version will be available on a CD ROM being
developed from the Internet Shakespeare Editions site on Shakespeare's
Life and Times.
We welcome comments (bugs, suggestions, improvements) on Scenario (and
on the Life and Times site), since the program is still under
development. The software is available at this address:
and you can visit the Life and Times at
I shall be away from email from 23-28 May, but will be happy to respond
personally to queries and suggestions (on or off list).
Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions
Department of English, University of Victoria
Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada. (250) 598-9575