Shakespeare Performance Studies: Performing Postprint Shakespeare

W. B. Worthen
Shakespeare Performance Studies: Performing Postprint Shakespeare
To seize Shakespeare performance today is to ask how Shakespeare has become an instrument for exploring the continually contested parameters of performance, the boundaries between writing and doing, between onstage and offstage acting, between literature, theatre, and other technologies of mediated performance. Rather than taking Shakespeare Performance Studies as the linear declension it typically represents in Shakespeare studies (especially in “performance criticism” of Shakespeare)—studying, in other words, how performance interprets and so reproduces Shakespeare—I ask instead how contemporary theatre practice might provide the means for seizing alternative conceptions of the work of writing in the event of performance.
In this paper, I take up two examples of the contemporary range of dramatic media, postcard plays and rehearsal mobile applications, to open a consideration of the ways technological change alters the space, practice, and meaning of categories often taken to be stable:  drama, theatre, and (especially) Shakespeare performance.