Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture: "Rough Magic: Performing Shakespeare through Gaming Technology"

This article is about the annual Shakespeare Birthday lecture. View the full list of all Shakespeare Birthday Lectures to date here. For other articles about Shakespeare's Birthday, see Shakespeare's Birthday (disambiguation).

For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

This was a lecture given by Gina Bloom on April 22, 2019.

Since it was first performed, Shakespeare’s The Tempest has enticed directors to stage the play’s magical beings and events through new technologies. This lecture examines the most recent of these experiments: the use of digital gaming technology to present the spirit Ariel on stage as a digital avatar. The lecture will include a demonstration of the Shakespeare video game Play the Knave that Professor Bloom co-developed and will discuss how Shakespeare’s The Tempest can help us think differently about our relationship to digital technology.

Gina Bloom is a professor of English at the University of California, Davis, whose research and teaching focus on Shakespeare, early modern drama, theater history, and performance studies. She is a trustee for the Shakespeare Association of America and serves on the executive committee for the Shakespeare Forum of the Modern Language Association. Her published works include two monographs and many articles on early modern drama, performance, and games. She is also leading several research projects that examine the impact of Play the Knave on K-12 learning and its significance for scholarship in the humanities.

Listen to the lecture.

Read the transcript.