Technology UWA makes 400-year-old plays accessible to a global audience for free

UWA makes 400-year-old plays accessible to a global audience for free

An ambitious project from the University of Western Australia aims to expand the canon of English Renaissance drama, publishing the plays of Shakespeare’s contemporaries and making them freely accessible to a global audience of students, scholars, and actors.

The project named, Digital Renaissance Editions was inaugurated by Dr Brett D. Hirsch, a Research Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia.

The open-access platform will publish editions of English Renaissance drama in modern spelling and with commentary. The website provides plays written by authors who inspired or took inspiration from Shakespeare. “Many of these plays have never been published, let alone edited by expert scholars. It takes dedicated work to make these 400-year-old plays accessible in a format familiar to modern readers of Shakespeare,” said Dr Hirsch.

Alan Cumming OBE and other award-winning patrons including James Franco have endorsed the project. Alan Cumming OBE has called the work ‘a godsend’. “It makes the exciting world of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre widely accessible for the first time.”

Dr. Hirsch is also an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research (DECRA) Fellow (2013-2017).

[img source] Folger Shakespeare Library
The above story is based on materials provided by The University of Western Australia