Digital Texts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.131  Friday, 14 March 2014


From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Friday, March 14, 2014

Subject:    Digital Texts


The Folger Library has announced:


An early gift in honor of Shakespeare's 450th birthday! We're pleased to announce that all 38 plays are now available in HTML format at


If you have not checked the Internet Shakespeare Editions lately, you should:


Currently, old-spelling diplomatic transcriptions of original editions and facsimiles of all the plays and peer-reviewed modern editions of the following plays and Venus and Adonis are available:


All’s Well That Ends Well



2 Henry 4

King John

Midsummer Night’s Dream



Richard 2

Romeo and Juliet

The Tempest

Venus and Adonis


Other plays are added regularly, and I hope that The Rape of Lucrece will follow shortly. 


The Internet Shakespeare Editions are the most scholarly editions available on the Internet. (Disclaimer: I am both an editor and member of the Editorial Board. I am also a contributor to the Making Waves: Friends of the ISE fundraising campaign and thus have the additional resource tools that such membership provides.)


Shakespeare and Digital Games

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.130  Friday, 14 March 2014


From:        Stefan Köhler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 13, 2014 at 4:24:56 PM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare and Digital Games


“Projekt A.R.I.E.L. (ARTificial Research in Electronical Live) proudly presents the SturmMOD, part of a theater/media arts production started in summer 2008 as an experiment by students of the Scenic Arts at the University of Hildesheim, Germany. This modification of the first person shooter game “Far Cry” was not only used in live performances, as can be seen in this picture,



but was also made available for download to anyone who wanted to play Shakespeare in a new and different (digital) way:


Until now nearly 17.500 players in total were able to explore this virtual adaption of selected places and events described by William Shakespeare in his play “The Tempest” (in German: “Der Sturm”) and to develop their own perspectives on things (e.g. by taking over the role of Caliban left alone after the end of the play, experiencing the environment from his point of view, as in the latest version of the modification—the Caliban Edition).


If you now want to visit Prospero’s Island as well, be sure you have a copy of the game “Far Cry” installed, ideally already patched to version 1.4, as the modification will not run on its own!


Also, if you want to give feedback or maybe use the modification in class or if you work on a similar project or if you are interested to learn more about the project/in a scientific exchange on the topic of “Shakespeare and digital games”, don’t hesitate to contact me via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. /


Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.129  Thursday, 13 March 2014


From:        Alan Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 12, 2014 at 2:11:46 PM EDT

Subject:    Balcony Scene?


I have resisted entering the “balcony” discussion because I could not take seriously the suggestion that such a separate structure existed as an entity in the public or private theatres of the period. Yes, balconies and windows were part of the early twentieth-century models set forth and even built (and two Caroline stage directions do refer to balconies - though I read these s.d.s as “fictional” not “theatrical”), but I confess that I was weaned on Shakespeare at the Globe 1599-1609 (1962) in which Bernard Beckerman shot down such notions (or so I thought). Clearly, some scenes had to be played “above” or “aloft” or “on the walls” or even “at a window” (see Q1 R & J, G3r) with examples to be found in the nine plays on Gabriel Egan’s list. Why is there a need for a “balcony” if Juliet or Cleopatra or Celia or Brabantio could appear “above” to deliver lines to figures standing below?


Perhaps I am missing the point, but a quick look at the entries for above, aloft, on the walls, and window in our Dictionary of Stage Directions will highlight the standard practice that lies behind hundreds of plays. See also the entry for fictional stage directions.


In contrast, I cannot supply any firm evidence about a “descent machine” but I do take seriously John Astington’s argument (“Descent Machinery in the Playhouses,” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 2 (1985): 119-33) that such a device could have been relatively simple and widely available.


Alan Dessen


CFP: Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.128  Thursday, 13 March 2014


From:        Aneta Mancewicz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 13, 2014 at 5:30:07 AM EDT

Subject:    CFP: Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance


Call for Papers


Essay Collection

Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance


Co-edited by


Aneta Mancewicz

Senior Lecturer in Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, UK


Alexa Huang

Professor of English, George Washington University, USA



Heiner Müller observed that in Hamlet “The invasion of the times into the play constitutes myth” (“Shakespeare a Difference”, trans. Carl Weber, p. 120). Over the centuries, intrusions of history have invested Hamlet and other Shakespeare’s plays with a mythical status on stages in Europe and beyond. Shakespeare has been used to construct the sense of nationhood, to voice political anxieties, and to address social tensions. The mythical position of Shakespeare’s plays has encouraged the perpetuation of set images, ideas, and values originating in the works themselves but also reflecting the times and cultures, into which they have been appropriated. As Müller explained, “Myth is an aggregate, a machine to which always new and different machines can be connected” (p. 120). Having achieved a mythical status, Shakespeare’s plays have continued to generate myths that contribute to the development of contemporary performance and culture. 


The topic encourages both case studies of performances of myths rooted in local contexts, as well as investigations of the global nature of Shakespeare’s myths. We welcome articles that critically examine specific productions or engage more broadly with global and local myths in Shakespearean performance. The following questions provide possible points of departure for the discussion in the essays:

  1. What myths have been generated locally and globally around Shakespearean performance?
  2. Can we trace common patterns across different regions of the world, comparing, for example, European, Asian or American myths generated by the intrusion of history into the staging of Shakespeare? 
  3. Do myths help us to comprehend the world and communicate with audiences across cultures, or do they impose patterns of interpretation onto Shakespeare’s plays and our experience of history?

Please contact Aneta Mancewicz if you are interested in submitting an article. Please submit your article of 6000 words with a short bio of 150 words by October 1, 2014 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Aneta Mancewicz

Senior Lecturer in Theatre

Course Co-ordinator BA (Hons) in Theatre and Professional Practice

Course Co-ordinator BA (Hons) in English and Theatre Studies

University of Bedfordshire

Performing Arts and English

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.127  Wednesday, 12 March 2014


From:        Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 11, 2014 at 7:02:17 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Balcony Scene


Laurie Johnson and I agree on this:


> If we want evidence for there being a balcony

> at The Globe, it needs to come from somewhere

> other than the text of R&J.


Indeed. The best textual evidence for the features of the Globe are the needs of the plays written for the Chamberlain’s/King’s men when they had only the Globe to play in and that were either i) published in that same Globe-only period or else ii) published later from a manuscript that can reasonably be dated to the Globe-only period.


In the 17 years since I took a stab at creating such a list for my PhD thesis, the collective agreement about how we date the manuscript underlying a printed book has rather broken down, and some people would argue that it is hopeless to try. But in case it’s of interest, here are the 9 plays and their editions that I concluded in 1997 are our best guide to the design of the Globe:


1. Jonson Every Man out of His Humour, Q (1600)

2. Shakespeare Henry 5, Q1 (1600) F (1623)

3. Shakespeare Hamlet, Q2 (1604-5)

4. Shakespeare King Lear, Q1 (1607-8)

5. Jonson Volpone, Q (1607)

6. Anon. A Yorkshire Tragedy, Q (1608)

7. Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra, F (1623)

8. Wilkins The Miseries of Enforced Marriage, Q (1607)

9. Shakespeare Timon of Athens, F (1623)


The thesis with the full argument about how the various candidate lists are whittled down to these 9 is freely available via the British Library’s EThoS digitization of all UK research degree theses. Among the conclusions that can be drawn from these plays is that the 1599 Globe did not have a descent machine: it was installed after the King’s Men acquired the Blackfriars and as part of the regularization of practices at the two theatres.  (A similarly derived list of Blackfriars-only plays contains at least one that needs a descent machine, so the Blackfriars had one.)


On the question of a stage-balcony at the Globe, I should think that the need for an elevated playing space in Henry 5 and Antony and Cleopatra makes it pretty certain that the Globe had either a stage-balcony or a portable structure that served the same function.


Gabriel Egan


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